The NCAA has imposed a 48-hour deadline on North Carolina to repeal its controversial “bathroom law,”a local sports event planner said on Tuesday.
If lawmakers don’t repeal the law, known as HB2, the NCAA will reject the state’s more than 100 bids to host championship college sports events over the next five years.
The ultimatum was revealed in a statement from Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance executive director Scott Dupree around noon on Tuesday.
“I have confirmed with a contact very close to the NCAA that its deadline for HB2 is 48 hours from now,” Dupree said in the statement, according to local news reports.
“If HB2 has not been resolved by that time, the NCAA will have no choice but to move forward without the North Carolina bids. The NCAA has already delayed the bid review process once and has waited as long as it possibly can, and now it must finalise all championship site selections through spring of 2022.”
The report comes less than a week after the NCAA confirmed North Carolina’s 133 bids were on the chopping block. In a statement last week, the NCAA said HB2 did not assure “a safe, healthy, discrimination free atmosphere for all those watching and participating in our events.”
Passed just over a year ago, HB2 blocks LGBT protections and forces transgender people to use the bathroom that aligns with their biological sex.
The law already cost the Tar Heel State more than a dozen marquee college sports events for the current academic year, after the NCAA and Atlantic Coast Conference relocated several championship events last summer.
Should the NCAA follow through on its ultimatum, it would strike one of the heaviest blows yet to the state economy — which will suffer nearly $US4 billion in financial losses because of the law, according to an Associated Press estimate. The figure factors in losses from frozen business expansions, canceled concerts, and relocated business conventions, all attributed to HB2.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed a desire to repeal the law, however they have disagreed on how far it should be scaled back. One proposal, floated by state Republicans, would repeal the law while limiting local governments’ ability to protect LGBT residents, according to WBTV.
It is unclear whether such a compromise would satisfy the NCAA. Democrats have called for a full repeal of the law.
After Dupree released his statement on the NCAA deadline, he released a joint statement with Dennis Edwards, president and CEO of the Visit Raleigh tourism group, in which they urged lawmakers to solve the crisis while avoiding the appearance of favouring one outcome.
“We will not endorse any one bill,” the pair said in their statement. “We simply seek a swift compromise that will allow us to begin to repair the reputation of our region and state.”
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