|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||CONTACT:|
|Friday, April 28, 2000||Wallace I. Renfro
Director of Public Relations
INDIANAPOLIS---The NCAA Executive Committee today announced that it will cancel future Association-sponsored events in South Carolina if that state doesn't take action to remove the Confederate battle flag from atop its state capitol.
At its quarterly meeting today in Indianapolis, the committee passed a resolution indicating that if the state fails to take action that will remove the flag by the Committee's next meeting, August 11, 2000, the Association will cancel all future NCAA championships and meetings in the state. Championship events that might be awarded to schools in South Carolina for this spring will not be affected.
The resolution reads:
"Whereas, the Executive Committee is concerned that many coaches and student-athletes feel that an inhospitable environment is created by the display of the Confederate flag over the South Carolina state house; and
"Whereas, the NCAA supports the efforts of the Governor of South Carolina and many state citizens in their efforts to remove the Confederate flag from the state house.
"Therefore, should South Carolina fail to take action on this matter before the NCAA's Executive Committee meeting August 11, 2000, the Committee will take action at that time to cancel all NCAA-sponsored events in South Carolina until the flag is removed from the state house."
The Executive Committee had been asked to address this issue - along with the failure of South Carolina to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday as a state holiday - by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. The NABC specifically requested that the Division I Men's Basketball Championship first- and second-round games in the South Regional in 2002 be moved to an alternate site.
"Obviously, the Confederate flag means many things to different individuals, but there is no question that to a significant number of our constituents, the flag is a symbol of oppression," said Charles Wethington, chair of the Executive Committee and president of the University of Kentucky. "This has created an inhospitable environment for many coaches and student-athletes, and for some, it is an intolerable environment."
Wethington said the Association "should not continue to take NCAA-sponsored events into an environment that generates those feelings."
Beyond this spring, the only championship events with predetermined sites located in South Carolina are the Division I Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships in 2001 and the first- and second-round games in the Division I Men's Basketball Championship noted earlier.
Recording of the telephone press conference.