Connecticut governor: move '16 Final Four unless law changes
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Connecticut's governor and UConn's athletic director called on the NCAA on Monday to consider moving next year's Women's Final Four out of Indianapolis unless changes are made to Indiana's new religious-objections law.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and other critics contend the law would allow businesses to deny service to gays and lesbians based on religious beliefs. The governor on Monday signed an executive order banning state spending on travel to Indiana and says the NCAA would be wise to move the tournament.
''We have gay men and women who play NCAA sports and to hold a tournament in a state that has passed, and really quite frankly has flaunted laws that would lead to discrimination against those athletes, is not a wise place to have a tournament,'' Malloy said.
Warde Manuel, UConn's athletic director, told The Associated Press he finds the law unacceptable. He said he hopes the state of Indiana rectifies the situation before UConn or any other institution considers a boycott of the 2016 Final Four.
''If it doesn't change than I would encourage the NCAA to look to move the venue so that we wouldn't get into a situation where any institution would have to consider that kind of choice,'' he said.
The Huskies have won the past two NCAA Tournaments and were playing Monday night for a berth in the program's eighth consecutive Final Four.
Republican legislative leaders in Indiana said they are working on adding language to the religious-objections law to make it clear that the measure does not allow discrimination against gays and lesbians.
NCAA President Mark Emmert has said he has expressed his displeasure to Indiana officials and said the organization would be discussing the possibility of moving the tournament.
''It's something that we would do very, very deliberately and thoughtfully,'' he told ESPN.
Manuel said UConn would decide on Tuesday whether men's coach Kevin Ollie would attend this week's coaches conference in Indianapolis.
Associated Press writer Susan Haigh contributed to this report from Hartford, Connecticut.