USC athletic director Pat Haden tweeted yesterday that he will not attend a College Football Playoff committee meeting in Indianapolis this week due to Senate Bill 101, the controversial religious freedom law Indiana passed last week by Gov. Mike Pence.
The law, which will go into effect in July, has garnered national attention this month. Proponents say the law protects individual religious freedoms from state and local governments. Opponents say it could allow businesses to refuse to serve LGBT customers by citing the business owners’ religious beliefs. Haden said he was skipping the meeting:
UConn men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie won’t be traveling to the Final Four this week in Indiana either, abiding by a travel ban ordered by Connecticut’s governor. UConn was the 2014 national champion and Ollie was to attend coaches meetings and other events surrounding this year’s championship.
The NCAA, headquartered in Indianapolis, will hold the Final Four tournament this weekend at the Indianapolis Colts’ Lucas Oil Stadium this weekend. If the NCAA had pulled the April 4 and 6 games, as Keith Olbermann an others have called for, the organization which earned 84% of its $912.8 million last year from March Madness would have lost big-time, but so would the state. NCAA president Mark Emmert issued a statement last week:
“The NCAA national office and our members are deeply committed to providing an inclusive environment for all our events. We are especially concerned about how this legislation could affect our student-athletes and employees. We will work diligently to assure student-athletes competing in, and visitors attending, next week’s Men’s Final Four in Indianapolis are not impacted negatively by this bill. Moving forward, we intend to closely examine the implications of this bill and how it might affect future events as well as our workforce.”
Carlos Racedo, I don’t know who you are, but you Tweeted a pretty powerful message.