COLUMBIA – The loss of NCAA postseason events in North Carolina has many cities looking to fill in the gaps at the end of the 2016-17 season.
North Carolina lost the right to host seven postseason NCAA events due to the state’s HB2 law that makes “it unlawful to use a restroom different from the gender on one’s birth certificate, regardless of gender equity.”
Now it’s time to add Columbia to the list — probably.
University of South Carolina Athletics Director Ray Tanner admits there is a strong possibility the school and city will make a run at hosting the first and second rounds of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament that has been scheduled to take place in Greensboro, North Carolina.
But there are a few things that have to be figured out.
“We are having those discussions,” said Tanner. “I had a chance to visit with some of our leadership, and (USC women’s basketball) coach (Dawn) Staley plays a role in this because, knock on wood, she’s likely to merit hosting and it is the same time as women’s basketball.
“But there’s certainly been interest from this city. If we are going to submit a bid, it has to be by Sept. 27.”
If Columbia managed to earn the NCAA men’s first- and second-round action, it would likely mean the women could not host.
“That’s one of the things, one of the options we’re looking into right now,” said Tanner. “What does that mean? What options are out there? Is there an appeals process? Where else could they play if they merit hosting?
“There are some questions that need to be answered before we move forward.”
The Gamecocks are apparently looking into whether or not their women’s basketball team could play at a nearby location — possibly Greenville or Charleston.
These are the NCAA postseason events that have been moved out of North Carolina:
- Division I women's soccer championship College Cup, slated for Cary, Dec. 2 and 4.
- Division III men's and women's soccer championship in Greensboro, Dec. 2-3.
- Division I men's basketball tournament first/second rounds in Greensboro, March 17 and 19
- Division I women's golf championship regional in Greenville, May 8-10.
- Division III men's and women's tennis championship in Cary, May 22-27.
- Division I women's lacrosse championship in Cary, May 26 and 28.
- Division II baseball championship in Cary, May 27-June 3.