“The NCAA national office and our members are deeply committed to providing an inclusive environment for all our events,” the statement read. “We are especially concerned about how this legislation could affect our student-athletes and employees.
“We will work diligently to assure student-athletes competing in, and visitors attending, next week’s Men’s Final Four in Indianapolis are not impacted negatively by this bill. Moving forward, we intend to closely examine the implications of this bill and how it might affect future events as well as our workforce.”
The measure, which was signed into law by Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana on Thursday, gives state businesses the right to not provide service to gay and lesbian couples based on “religious freedom.”
The NCAA is headquartered in Indianapolis.
Whether the NCAA should host the biggest event of the college basketball season in a state that is potentially unaccommodating to fans and tourists of a particular sexual orientation is a “bigger decision” for the governing body to make, North Carolina State forward Abdul-Malik Abu told USA TODAY Sports on Thursday.
“I know that decision probably won’t be based on moral views but probably more currency-based,” said Abu.
“I definitely feel like that law is really backwards. You shouldn’t be able to reject anybody based on what they believe in, definitely. That’s the NCAA’s choice.”
Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer said, “I’m not concerned. I’m sure we’ll find some good food no matter what. We are so focused on this game right now. I can’t even think about that city yet.”
Dakarai Tucker, a guard/forward for Utah, said of the law, “I don’t think that’s right. That’s something that was dealt with a long time ago. I just don’t think that’s right at all. It’s a free country. Anybody has any right to go anywhere they want to. This is in Indianapolis? Yeah, I think it’s a concern.”
The Final Four will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on April 4.
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