Two colleges boycott NC sports boycott

Two colleges are refusing to go along with an athletic boycott protesting North Carolina’s transgender bathroom law, vowing not to send their teams to alternate venues.

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced Monday that it would follow the lead of its much-larger counterpart, the NCAA, by relocating its 2016 Cross Country National Championships from Charlotte, but according to SB Nation’s OutSports, the presidents of Oklahoma Wesleyan University and College of the Ozarks are opting to withdraw their schools’ teams from the competition rather than participate in the political protest.

[RELATED: NCAA pulls championship games from NC over transgender bathroom law]

“It’s not the business of the NAIA to tell the citizens of North Carolina how to regulate their bathrooms, nor should athletes be political pawns," College of the Ozarks President Jerry Davis declared in a statement. “This is another example of political correctness gone berserk and is a big mistake.”

The NAIA described the decision as being motivated by a “commitment to providing a positive student-athlete experience with fairness and inclusion for all those participating,” but Davis pointed out that “the NAIA’s important ‘Champions of Character’ initiative is undermined when a small group of presidents don’t appear to adhere to the NAIA’s own statement of core values, which includes ‘keeping commitments,’" adding, "It appears the Council has lost touch with its own administrators and no doubt much of the public at large."

Oklahoma Wesleyan President Everett Piper, meanwhile, took issue with the apparent inconsistencies in the organization’s stance.

“Surely an organization that promotes champions of character should have enough moral clarity to recognize that female athletes should be given the dignity of having their own restrooms,” Piper told The Tulsa World when announcing his decision.

“How can we claim to be an organization that supports women if our leadership is so willing to deny female athletes the right to have their own bathrooms, showers, toilet, and lavatory?” he asked. “The NAIA’s disregard for such basic rights is sobering.”

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