RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina lawmakers filed a bill Tuesday that could lead to UNC and N.C. State leaving the ACC if it becomes law.
The issue goes back to the stance the ACC took over House Bill 2, which included pulling championships out of North Carolina until it was repealed.
Supporters of this new bill – House Bill 728 – say the ACC went too far, but then there are others who say this bill is what’s going too far.
Ask UNC or State students about the importance of sports in their college experience and there’s a good chance you’ll hear something like this:
“It’s something that you look forward to. You know, a lot of people prepare for a game all week,” said N.C. State student LeAnna West.
“You scream like crazy. It’s just so fun. I don’t know how to explain it,” said Catalina Aguayo, a UNC student.
Sometimes the worlds of sports and politics meet.
Prior to the repeal of House Bill 2, several Republican lawmakers weren’t pleased with the ACC and the NCAA who, at the time, pulled playoffs and championships out of North Carolina until they said the state could ensure a discrimination-free environment.
Now, some Republican lawmakers have introduced a bill in case a similar situation happens again.
“We’re taking this seriously and we’re not going to sit back idly and let them do whatever they want to North Carolina,” said Rep. Mark Brody, a Republican from Union County.
House Bill 728 says if an intercollegiate athletic association boycotts North Carolina, then the UNC campuses that are a part of that conference are prohibited from extending the grant of media rights to that conference.
The bill also says the UNC campuses would provide written notice to the conference they intend to leave it when those media rights expire.
“This is a payback bill from people who supported House Bill 2,” said Rep. Graig Meyer (D-Orange).
For the students we spoke with, they don’t want to see their schools leave the ACC.
“I don’t know what the ACC would mean without Carolina,” said UNC student Laura Roberson.
“I would not want to leave the ACC. I would love to stay in the ACC. I wouldn’t want to see any program in the ACC right now leave the ACC,” said N.C. State student Devon Wilcox.
CBS North Carolina reached out to the UNC system, as well as UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State, but none wanted to comment on the bill at this time.
House Bill 728 was referred on to the House Rules Committee on Tuesday.