MnSCU bans sports teams from North Carolina

Published 10:05 am Wednesday, May 4, 2016

By John Shipley

St. Paul Pioneer Press

Is a College World Series nonessential state business?

Email newsletter signup

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system decided Tuesday that all sports travel is nonessential, and now some Minnesota college athletes would be unable to compete for a national championship this month because their tournaments are being held in North Carolina.

On April 2, Gov. Mark Dayton prohibited state employees from traveling to North Carolina on “nonessential” state business because of a recently enacted law that bans transgender people from using locker rooms and bathrooms designated for the gender with which they identify.

Dayton said the ban remains in place “until the North Carolina Governor and state Legislature repeal the discriminatory law they enacted. …”

The governor’s ban did not include MnSCU employees or teachers, but the system’s presidents met Tuesday to discuss the issue and “expressed their support for Governor Dayton,” MnSCU communications director Doug Anderson said in an email to the Pioneer Press.

During the meeting, Anderson said, “The presidents have concluded that athletics-related travel is non-essential for purposes of this directive. While we understand that some players may be disappointed, no sports team from any of our colleges or universities will participate in tournaments in North Carolina this spring.”

St. Cloud State president Earl H. Potter did not attend Tuesday’s meetings because of a family issue but said he supports “the governor’s position and the stand he’s taken.” However, he added, worrying about whether the decision will kill the Huskies’ opportunity to play for a national title is only speculation.

What’s important, Potter said, is to “support our student-athletes the best we can.”