The Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) has made its first major move in response to North Carolina’s House Bill 2, moving its neutral-site 2017 women’s golf championship out of the state.
And, while Elon University released its 2017 football schedule with a game against the State University of New York at Albany Sept. 30, Commissioner Joe D’Antonio said in a phone call that the issue is not fully resolved.
“We are still working very closely with Albany to resolve the matter, and we are very hopeful, going forward, that we will have a positive resolution,” D’Antonio said. “But it has not been resolved 100 percent as of yet.”
In the Feb. 1 phone call, D’Antonio said the on-campus spring conference championships will not be moving. Elon will still host the men’s and women’s tennis championships April 20-23, and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington will host the baseball championships May 24-27.
Originally scheduled to take place at St. James Plantation in Southport, the conference will play its golf championship at Ford’s Colony Country Club in Williamsburg, Virginia April 14-16. In a press release Sept. 23, 2016, the CAA said the women’s golf championships would be moved if the law had not been repealed by Jan. 10, but D’Antonio said Feb. 1 that the date for action was Jan. 31.
“We’ve been very outspoken as a conference in support of diversity and in support of the LGBTQ community,” D’Antonio said. “We’ve been dealing with some issues as a conference as a result of the HB2 bill. We’ve made some decisions, and we’re still working through some scenarios associated with the football issue, the HB2 law and the non-essential travel ban in the state of New York. We’ve taken a positive stance as a conference for how we feel about what’s going on in North Carolina, and we’re working through those issues accordingly.”
With regard to Elon’s football game with UAlbany, D’Antonio said he and the conference has not had any communication with New York Governor Anthony Cuomo’s office, but does know that UAlbany has been in contact with the governor’s office. While acknowledging the specificities with this issue, D’Antonio says the conference is dealing with it like it would with any scheduling conflict.
“We deal with issues all the time,” D’Antonio said. “We dealt with the hurricane last year. We’re doing everything we can to make sure that the games get played at the times they’re scheduled for. This situation is no different, but we’re just dealing with some very specific circumstances.”
In a statement, UAlbany acknowledged that it is still in discussions with the CAA about how it will go about this situation, but declined further comment. The Great Danes will be releasing their schedule later this week. Even though Elon released its schedule today, the school declined further comment on the game.
D’Antonio acknowledged that the schools have explored alternatives but declined to get into specifics about what other options are currently being explored, saying, “I’ve been in discussion with both institutions relative to the situation. They’re aware of where I stand and where the conference stands on the matter. At this point, out of respect that we’re dealing with an active situation, I’m not going to get into details.”