NCAA

The NCAA Should Be Free to Boycott N.C. Taxpayers Should Be Free to Stop Subsidizing Them.

Why are the rest of us paying for this dispute?

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NCAA basketball
Roberto E. Rosales/ZUMA Press/Newscom

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the incredibly wealthy organization that rules over college sports, just announced that they are pulling seven championship events out of the state of North Carolina and will be moving them elsewhere.

The NCAA objects to the passage of HB2, the legislation passed earlier in the year that blocks the passage of municipal antidiscrimination laws beyond what the state already covers and—this is what's getting all the attention—requires that people use the restrooms and facilities of their birth sex in schools and government buildings.

The NCAA notes the factors that contributed to this move that put North Carolina in a different class than other states that don't necessarily have anti-discrimination protections for gay or transgender people:

  • North Carolina laws invalidate any local law that treats sexual orientation as a protected class or has a purpose to prevent discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender individuals.
  • North Carolina has the only statewide law that makes it unlawful to use a restroom different from the gender on one's birth certificate, regardless of gender identity.
  • North Carolina law provides legal protections for government officials to refuse services to the LGBT community.
  • Five states plus numerous cities prohibit travel to North Carolina for public employees and representatives of public institutions, which could include student-athletes and campus athletics staff. These states are New York, Minnesota, Washington, Vermont and Connecticut.

I would point out that the second item here isn't quite accurate. It only applies to government buildings and schools, and private businesses can accommodate transgender people however they choose. Of course, we are talking about an organization whose events frequently happen in government-owned or run facilities.

As for the last item, when the NCAA points out the relationship between college sports and government employees and how states could have the power to actually stop college-athletes from traveling to other states, isn't that yet another good reason to question why the heck taxpayers are subsidizing any of this travel in the first place?

The NCAA should feel free to boycott or to not do business with the state of North Carolina, just like any other business in the country. But the NCAA's operations are heavily subsidized by taxpayers, even as it brings in huge amounts of revenue—$1 billion a year. Students who attend colleges (public and private), their parents, and really, the massive government system that subsidizes college costs, are forced to fork out money to the NCAA to pay for all of this. What about those of us who don't think it's appropriate for taxpayers to be subsidizing the travel expenses of college athletes to any state, regardless of its positions on discrimination?

Not only is the NCAA making bank at our expense, that money's not even trickling down to the athletes themselves. Do the athletes support the NCAA's decision here? Maybe. Doesn't matter. They're there to serve the NCAA's interests. It doesn't have to be like this. The NCAA could be like any other business if we demanded it. There's certainly a big enough market to actually pay college athletes and to end athletic subsidies. Below are a couple of ReasonTV pieces about the college sports economic environment.

First, why the heck aren't we paying college athletes?

Second, why are we subsidizing college sports at all?

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  1. Ah yes, moral outrage from an organization that colludes with professional sports to force young (often black and poor) athletes to work for free, making billions of dollars in the process.

    1. You know what other group of young black men were forced to work for free?

      1. New Edition?

      2. The 1979-80 San Diego Clippers?

    2. They don’t work for free. They work for in kind payments. And no one forces the athletes to take the deal. Unless you want to embrace antitrust law and the minimum wage, you might want to reconsider your opinion here.

      1. And no one is “forcing” them to work for free. That’s a complete bullshit argument.

        1. ^I’m agreeing w/ you, btw.

        2. Exactly. If you don’t like playing football for glory, a free education and the chance at the NFL, don’t do it. No one says you have to and many people who could choose not to do so.

      2. Except they **can’t** play professionally because the NBA and the NFL forbid it. The NFL and the NBA get a free farm system out of the arrangement and the NCAA gets top 18 and 19 year old talent.

        Whether it should be illegal is besides the point. Westboro Baptist have the absolute right to protest funerals. They are still gaping assholes. Whether the NCAA should be allowed to collude with the professional leagues, the NCAA are gaping asshole and have little credibility taking the moral high ground.

        1. Except they **can’t** play professionally because the NBA and the NFL forbid it.

          And those are the only leagues in the world that exist.

          Stop with that silliness.

          1. And those are the only leagues in the world that exist.

            True, but they cannot play in any other league, either. Nor accept a meal from a booster. Or do much of anything else involving making money to cover expenses their scholarships do not cover, even as the NCAA uses sells players’ images and uses their likenesses. Is it really so wrong to argue that, hey, wouldn’t it be nice if the NCAA kicked some of that down so the players could go out to eat once in a while. Sure, they voluntarily chose it, but it is kind of** the only game in town for an athlete looking to go pro.

            I thought we were past having to explain that “The NCAA’s eligibility rules suck” does not automatically mean “The government ought to do something about it!”

            **Counterpoint: Brandon Jennings

            1. What you say is true only for preserving NCAA Eligibility.

              We weren’t talking about that as a goal, we’re talking about being a pro.

              And so, nothing you say applies.

        2. Sucks to be them. The NFL doesn’t owe them a job either. The NFL doesn’t owe 18 year old kids a job anymore than McDonalds owes its employees $15 an hour.

          1. And it sucks to be at a funeral with God Hates Fags protesters. This is besides the point.

            1. The NFLs freedom to hire whom they want is the entire point. They don’t owe them a job out of high school or running a minor league the way baseball does.

    3. Which of those athletes is being -forced- to play?

  2. My God, please please PLEASE stop linking back to that Easterbrook video. american socialist is smarter than that guy.

    He’s written extensively about football and demonstrated, repeatedly, that he is a world class ignoramus.

  3. I really, really have to question why so many corporations and whatever the hell the NCAA is considered are throwing themselves out in front of an issue that most Americans don’t even agree with them on. No one was really begging the NCAA for an opinion here. Are they that out of touch, or is there behind the scenes pressure being applied?

    1. What’s odd to me is that of all the fights to pick, why this one? Like you say, most Americans are either indifferent or disagree with the NCAA, and those that agree tend to not live in NC. And seriously, the NCAA wants to shut North Carolina out? Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

      1. Because the entire progressive movement depends on their being an enemy and a way to feel morally superior to that enemy. The downside to that the movement’s success in the culture war undermines its existence. So new enemies must forever be designated.

        1. The crazier the SJWs get, the less crazy theories like yours get.

    2. behind the scenes pressure being applied

      DoEd to NCAA: Would be a shame for anything to happen to those sweet, sweet subsidies you get directly or indirectly, now wouldn’t it?

  4. Five states plus numerous cities prohibit travel to North Carolina for public employees and representatives of public institutions, which could include student-athletes and campus athletics staff. These states are New York, Minnesota, Washington, Vermont and Connecticut.

    Please ban the rest of the douchnozzles in your state from traveling to NC also

  5. Unfortunately, the NCAA is headquartered in my state at Indianapolis.

    I wonder what would happen if the legislature here would pass a law similar to North Carolina.

    It poses some interesting scenarios.

    All I know is that the Federal discrimination laws are based on SEX NOT GENDER.

    There is a difference.

    Many different scenarios!

  6. All of these sports, the NCAA segregates participatuin by sex (or is it gender today?).

    1. (or is it gender today?)

      It’s gender

      TW: People magazine

      1. So why is discriminating by gender good but discriminating by sex bad?

      2. If I play 4 years of men’s soccer at a NCAA school, then change my gender to female, do I get 4 years of eligibility for the women’s soccer team?

        1. I have 2 years of NCAA eligibility left, and I played volleyball in college, I was telling my wife I’d like to consider identifying as a female and walking on to a women’s team for lulz.

          1. You only have 5 years to use your eligibility…..so moot point.

  7. First, why the heck aren’t we paying college athletes?

    Because we haven’t hired any?

    1. I actually hate the whole pay college athletes thing. In an ideal world, colleges would be free to do so, and college players would be free to market themselves and bring in money on their own without a bunch of hypocritical bureaucrats coming after them.

      But the woe is me crap on this is still nonsense. A smart college athlete can get a degree all expenses paid, and I’m supposed to feel sorry them? We should be doling out tax payer dollars to college athletes in programs which are largely subsidized already and wouldn’t work financially otherwise? Even a lot of college football programs don’t make profits.

      1. We are not paying college athletes with cash because the colleges don’t want to. Asking why they are not is no different than asking why any other employer doesn’t pay some arbitrary amount of compensation.

        This is one of those times where reason lets its cultural biases get in the way of clear thinking.

        1. Shackford isn’t exactly the model of a libertarian, so I wouldn’t blame what he’s saying on Reason.

  8. I disagree with the writer on this. It’s the member collages they are punishing for something out of their control. Membership in the NCAA brings obligations to the members . Ill bet they will keep the TV money form showing Duke,NC State and

  9. I would point out that the second item here isn’t quite accurate. It only applies to government buildings and schools, and private businesses can accommodate transgender people however they choose.

    God forbid we’re talking about someone’s private property.

    The Charlotte ordinance conceded NO SUCH COURTESY to private property owners, by contrast. But HB2 is evil. Eeeevil! Push the button, Frank.

  10. It would be nice if any publication or website would acknowledge that when the bill passed, NC already had procedures for changing birth certificates for transgendered people. This never seems to be brought up, and it seems to be intentionally ignored just to create more controversy. The few times I have brought it up to people the response has basically been “Oh” and then silence.

    1. Damn squirrelz

  11. It would be nice if any publication or website would acknowledge that when the bill passed, NC already had procedures for changing birth certificates for transgendered people. This never seems to be brought up, and it seems to be intentionally ignored just to create more controversy. The few times I have brought it up to people the response has basically been “Oh” and then silence.

  12. North Carolina. Plus,they are punishing member schools. Not the state.

  13. Panem et circenses becomes Negri et vinum in the United States.

  14. Cuz collegiate sports is all about people born with dicks using women’s restrooms.

  15. The NCAA clearly wants to out-douchebag Roger Goodell.

  16. “North Carolina laws invalidate any local law that treats sexual orientation as a protected class or has a purpose to prevent discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender individuals.”

    In other words, North Carolina law allows businesses to decide for themselves whether to have LGBLT customers or employees, and if so on what terms.

    Since this has been the law for quite some time, I suppose they have evidence of Jim Crow style discrimination against LGBLTs? By which I *don’t* mean “oh no I have to go across the street for a good or service!”

    “North Carolina has the only statewide law that makes it unlawful to use a restroom different from the gender on one’s birth certificate, regardless of gender identity.”

    Like Scott Shackford says, the law only applies to government-run restrooms, and even then if you manage to change your birth certificate you can get your “gender identity” recognized.

    Private businesses are left free to decide for themselves how to run their bathrooms.

    In contrast, the NCAA wants to dictate to businesses how to run their bathrooms.

    1. “North Carolina law provides legal protections for government officials to refuse services to the LGBT community.”

      The law allows officials to opt out of licensing, or officiating at, marriages (gay or straight), and provides that replacement officials will be arranged to take up the slack.

      What the NCAA wants is a purge of the civil service, and of elected officials. Same-sex couples can find a government official to help with their Special Day. The happy couple simply won’t get the satisfaction of taking away an official’s job simply because (s)he has the same definition of marriage as the state Constitution.

      “Five states plus numerous cities prohibit travel to North Carolina for public employees and representatives of public institutions, which could include student-athletes and campus athletics staff. These states are New York, Minnesota, Washington, Vermont and Connecticut.”

      And if five states jumped off a bridge…

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