Flag removal causes NCAA to lift ban of South Carolina

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Friday’s historic day for South Carolina is not only a win for proponents of removing the Confederate flag from the State House grounds, but also a victory for college athletics in the Palmetto State.

The NCAA is lifting its ban on pre-selected college championship games in South Carolina after Gov. Haley signed a bill Thursday to remove the Confederate flag from the memorial at the state capital. The flag is set to come down at 10 a.m. Friday.

The Palmetto State is now eligible to host NCAA sanctioned tournaments and title games at neutral sites.

“We commend South Carolina lawmakers for taking this action to remove the Confederate flag from the Capitol grounds,” the NCAA Board of Governors announced in an official statement. “For nearly 15 years we have specifically protested the flag by not allowing states like South Carolina to host pre-selected NCAA championships. With this impending change, and consistent with our policy, South Carolina may bid to host future NCAA championships once the flag no longer flies at the State House grounds.”

In addition to the state missing out on NCAA sanctioned events, the Grand Strand has also lost sports tourism dollars over decisions by groups to honor the boycott. The ACC had decided to hold its baseball tournament in Myrtle Beach before pulling out over the issue.

 

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