On Friday, June 19, the NCAA Board of Governors announced that it was expanding its Confederate flag policy to prevent NCAA championship events to be played in states where the flag is a “prominent presence.”
Previously the NCAA had adopted a policy that barred the awarding of championship sites – determined in advance of a championship – to states that displayed the Confederate flag, but if a college team earned the right to host a championship game based on its tournament seeding or ranking the team could still host on its college campus or home territory. That will no longer be the case.
However, Mississippi is the only state that is currently affected by this policy. Mississippi is the only state that still prominently displays the Confederate battle flag on public grounds – such as the capitol and state parks – and that would mean that Mississippi can no longer host any NCAA championship events as long as that remains the case.
“There is no place in college athletics or the world for symbols or acts of discrimination and oppression,” NCAA Board of Governors Chair Michael V. Drake said in a statement. “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’s original Confederate flag policy was put in place in 2001 due to the flag’s prominence in a number of states. The Confederate flag flew over Alabama’s state capital from 1961 until 1993.
Previously SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey had stated that the SEC would consider barring any of the conference’s championship events from taking place in Mississippi, as well.