The NCAA responded Thursday to a request by dozens of advocacy groups to move 2021 Men's Basketball NCAA Tournament first and second round games out of Boise, Idaho, due to a new state law banning transgender women from playing on women's sports teams.
The call to move all NCAA Tournament championship games out of Idaho came in a letter, sent Wednesday, from women's and civil rights groups such as the ACLU, National Women's Law Center, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and National Center for Transgender Equality, among others.
"Given Idaho's adoption of a discriminatory law that directly impacts college athletics, violates NCAA values, and undermines the dignity and well-being of NCAA athletes, Idaho schools no longer qualify to host NCAA events," the letter read.
In a statement, the NCAA said the law "conflicts with the NCAA's core values of inclusivity, respect and the equitable treatment of all individuals," and the law will be discussed by its Board of Governors in August.
"NCAA championships are open to everyone, and the Association is committed to assuring that its events are safe and healthy for all who attend," the NCAA statement said. "It is our clear expectation that all NCAA student-athletes will be welcomed, treated with respect, and have nondiscriminatory participation wherever they compete."
First and second round NCAA Tournament games are scheduled for March 18 and 20, 2021 at the Taco Bell Center in Boise.
The NCAA moved NCAA Tournament games out of North Carolina in 2016 due to the state's controversial law requiring transgender people to use public bathrooms based on their original sex.