AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. — Though the Atlantic Coast Conference has not dove too far into North Carolina’s controversial HB2 Bill at its annual spring meetings at the Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island, Fla., the state of South Carolina has made it known it is open for business should a moratorium be placed on North Carolina.
ACC Championships such as the conference’s football championship game in Charlotte, N.C., and the baseball championships in Durham, N.C., could be in jeopardy after the NCAA Board of Governors passed an anti-discrimination requirement last month for sites that bid to host NCAA events.
“It is important to know, and we have stated, and will continue to state that South Carolina is open for business as it relates to any of the championships,” Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich told The Clemson Insider on Tuesday from Amelia Island. “If somewhere down the road something needs to be moved, then we have made that very clear … whether it is golf, whether it’s tennis, whether its baseball, soccer, any of those types of things that may end up being moved for any reason.”
Like North Carolina is going through now, South Carolina was in a battle with the NCAA and the ACC when it came to such matters until last summer. The NCAA supported the NAACP’s ban on South Carolina for nearly 15 years, and did not allow the state to host any NCAA Men’s Basketball Regionals or other major championships in the state until the state removed the Confederate Flag from the state house grounds.
In 2009, after awarding Myrtle Beach the rights to host the conference’s baseball tournament from 2011-’13, the ACC pulled it and moved it to Durham and Winston-Salem, N.C., due to pressure from the NAACP and the NCAA.
“It has been stated. We have talked about it and I think the conference understands our position,” Radakovich said. “We feel like as these issues come up and if there are moratoriums placed, we are going to be right there, along with other bordering states, of course, but we will be right there ready to assist and host championships as necessary.”
With the ACC, whose headquarters in located in Greensboro, N.C., and host several of its championships in the triangle area, getting some backlash from the HB2 Bill—a provision that requires people use public restrooms and locker rooms that are intended for the gender on their birth certificate—there is a possibility the ACC could be forced to move some of its championships.
“Our executive committee had a call last Friday to discuss the issue, we’ll discuss it further here,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said on Monday to The News and Observer. “Where we are as a league right now, going into these meetings, is in essence where the NCAA is.”
And if anything changes, South Carolina will be ready and is willing to help out.
“Now that the state, from the NCAA’s eyes, has come open for business we are here to let our conference know that we would be very interested in hosting whatever championships may come down the line,” Radakovich said. “Whether that is in the future or if some other issues come up that create change in the short run.”