Final Four coaches issue statement on Indiana religious freedom law
The Final Four coaches issued a joint statement on Wednesday in response to Indiana's passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
The law has been controversial and opponents of it fear it could allow business owners to refuse to serve same-sex couples based on religious beliefs. Proponents say the law protects individual religious freedoms from state and local governments.
Kentucky's John Calipari, Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, Wisconsin's Bo Ryan and Michigan State's Tom Izzo are the four head coaches at this year's Final Four. The coaches' statement:
"We are aware of the recent actions in Indiana and have made a point to talk about this sensitive and important issue among ourselves and with our teams. Each of us strongly supports the positions of the NCAA and our respective institutions on this matter – that discrimination of any kind should not be tolerated. As a part of America’s higher education system, college basketball plays an important role in diversity, equality, fairness and inclusion, and will continue to do so in the future."
On Tuesday, Connecticut announced that men's basketball coach Kevin Ollie and the rest of his staff will not travel to Indianapolis for the Final Four. The same day, the Mid-American Conference announced it will not hold any future championships or conference meetings in the state of Indiana until the law had been amended.
The NCAA issued a statement on Indiana's RFRA last week, saying it is "concerned about how this legislation could affect our student-athletes and employees."
- Molly Geary