The NCAA says it will consider anti-LGBT laws and policies when selecting future hosts of tournaments and championship events. The issue comes after the NCAA's men's Final Fours have been at the center of public-policy debates in Indianapolis earlier this year and in Houston next spring.
"We'll continue to review current events in all cities bidding on NCAA championships and events, as well as cities that have already been named as future host sites, such as Indianapolis," Bob Williams, NCAA senior vice president for communications, told the Indianapolis Star's Dana Hunsinger Benbow.
The NCAA has already said it will not move the men's Final Four in Houston next April despite the city rescinding its equal-rights ordinance.
However, the association could move next spring's men's Final Four if it wanted to. NCAA spokesperson Gail Dent told me earlier this month that they do, in face, have the ability to shift the location of an event -- Though they reserve that for extreme incidents like natural emergencies.
"There are provisions in place should there be a concern with the safety of a host venue, for example in the case of a natural disaster at the site," Dent said via email. "NCAA staff and other officials would assess the matter and determine what would be in the best interest of those who would attend and play in the event. We routinely address operations and security measures prior to and throughout the duration of a championship."
The NCAA's excuse, that it's "too late" to move the men's Final Four, is simply false. If NRG Stadium in Houston was destroyed in a hurricane next weekend, they would happily move the event. The NCAA chooses to not move the event in response to the removal of legal protections for LGBT fans.
Indiana state lawmakers are again considering a bill that would carve out exemptions to allow people to discriminate against LGBT people. While the NCAA resides in Indianapolis, the association could remove the entire state from consideration for hosting tournaments and championship events. It would be a huge blow to Indianapolis, which is routinely selected to host NCAA events.