In a blow that will leave an indelibly powerful mark on the economy of South Carolina, the National Collegiate Athletic Association has decided to pull their annual basketball championship out of South Carolina over the obvious racial tension associated with an old state practice. For decades, the Confederate Flag has flown high about South Carolina’s state capitol and other state government office buildings. Supporters of the flag cite its historical significance as the reason that it rises on the flagpoles of South Carolina’s most important buildings; ironically, many South Carolinians object to it for nearly the exact same reason.
The degradation, pain, and injustice associated with the “good ol’ Stars & Bars” is shared by countless Black residents of the first state to secede from the Union. It is because of those negative connotations that the NCAA and the Atlantic Coast Conference found that it was necessary to strip the state of their right to host a trilogy of collegiate basketball championships, effectively taking millions of dollars away from the state.
The ACC previously awarded the tournament to Myrtle Beach from 2011 to 2013. The decision drew widespread criticism from the NAACP, which was engaging in a full fledge boycott of the state because of its insistence on flying the flag of the Confederacy from the state’s capitol. Commissioner John Swofford says the tournament was awarded to Myrtle Beach with the understanding that discussions were held with groups that had sensitivities regarding the flag, but that “it has become clear this was not the case.”
North Carolina was chosen as a suitable replacement for the tournament, as Raleigh will host the ACC Championship in 2011 and 2013 while Greensboro has hosting duties for 2012.