The NCAA’s Board of Governors acted quickly Friday morning, expanding their Confederate flag policy by preventing championship events being played in states where the symbol has a prominent presence.
“There is no place in college athletics or the world for symbols or acts of discrimination and oppression,” said Michael V. Drake, chair of the board and president of the Ohio State University, said in a statement on Friday. “We must continually evaluate ways to protect and enhance the championship experience for college athletes. Expanding the Confederate flag policy to all championships is an important step by the NCAA to further provide a quality experience for all participants and fans.”
The NCAA Confederate flag policy began and was put in place nearly 20 years ago, 2001, due to the flag’s prominence in several states.
In 2014, the executive panel reviewed the 2001 ruling per a request by the NCAA Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee but it was left unchanged.
The ruling would forbid the state’s Division-1 college baseball programs - Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Southern Miss - from hosting NCAA regional or super regional playoff games. The first and second round of the NCAA women’s basketball playoff games would be affected also, serving as a large blow for Mississippi State who has hosted the first two rounds for four-straight seasons.
Ole Miss Chancellor Glenn Boyce and Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Keith Carter released a joint statement yesterday evening.
A message from Chancellor Glenn Boyce and Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Keith Carter. pic.twitter.com/gqJxxj6ca6— Ole Miss Athletics (@OleMissSports) June 19, 2020
Mississippi State AD John Cohen also released a statement.
Conference USA Commissioner Judy MacLeod chimed in with a response.
Statement from Conference USA Commissioner Judy MacLeod: pic.twitter.com/2yWrBhnsNo— Conference USA (@ConferenceUSA) June 19, 2020
Mississippi has hosted the C-USA baseball championship tournament nine times (Hattiesburg, Pearl, Biloxi) since 2009 and were scheduled to host again in 2020 before the cancellation of the season.
You can read the full NCAA statement here.