New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is not a fan of North Carolina's House Bill 2, requiring people to use the bathroom for their biological gender rather than the gender they identify with. When HB2 passed, Cuomo sent out an executive order banning all non-essential travel to North Carolina until they change the law.
While there have been minor instances of this executive order being enforced, there haven't been much noise publicly as a result of the ban. Now that it has hit the sports world, a much larger discussion will surely ensue.
With Cuomo's ban, SUNY public schools have decided to support him and, as a result, will not be sending SUNY Albany to play in Cameron Indoor at Duke this upcoming basketball season. Also, the Great Danes will not be sending their field hockey team for games at Duke and at North Carolina in the fall.
In a statement to the Herald-Sun, SUNY spokeswoman Holly Liapis said the following:
"The State University of New York supports Governor Cuomo's executive order banning all non-essential travel to the state of North Carolina. We instructed our campuses to immediately review any existing travel plans by faculty and staff. SUNY and its campuses continue to support the Governor on taking this stand."
While Syracuse isn't directly affected by the Governor's ban, a move like this will certainly put pressure on the university this coming season. The Orange play multiple sports against multiple schools in North Carolina, and those who want to see the law change will undoubtedly try to hold Syracuse's feet to the fire to take a stand in their support.
Syracuse has many open spots on it's upcoming schedules to fill. If an opportunity to fill it with a non-ACC North Carolina schools like East Carolina or Charlotte comes up, should the Orange take their chances elsewhere?
With the nation divided on the law itself, it will be interesting to see how Syracuse responds. Anytime political statements spill into sports, there will be both applause and scorn. Personally, I believe it's wrong to punish student athletes that have nothing to do with the bill from competing against one another. There is one player between Duke and Albany that is actually from the state of North Carolina on the rosters, so to disallow Albany players the thrill of playing in a college basketball landmark over politics is wrong to me. While the governor was in his legal rights to restrict travel from a state-funded school, doesn't mean it is the right thing to do.
In my opinion, I don't think Syracuse University should act on anything politically driven in New York State, and I think that's exactly what will happen. The banning of travel from one state to another over a disagreement, rather than having a discussion about the law that is disagreed upon seems extreme to me. It will be interesting to see what the university does (if anything) going forward, as the HB2 law is now placed directly back in the public eye with a sports twist on it.