USA Today: Connecticut men's basketball coach Kevin Ollie and his staff will not travel to the Final Four in Indianapolis this week.
Susan Herbst announced the decision Tuesday night, reacting to Indiana's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the subsequent travel ban for State of Connecticut employees issued by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Monday.
"In support of Governor Malloy's travel ban to the
state of Indiana, Kevin Ollie and other members of the UConn men's basketball staff will not travel to Indianapolis for the NCAA Final Four and events surrounding it," Herbst said in a statement. "UConn is a community that values all of our members and treats each person with the same degree of respect, regardless of their background and beliefs and we will not tolerate any other behavior."
Many college basketball coaches travel to the Final Four each year — even if not coaching in it — because it is the site of the annual National Association of Basketball Coaches convention, as well as other events/networking opportunities.
Ollie is the coach of the defending national champion Huskies. According to the
Hartford Courant, he and his staff previously had made travel plans to Indianapolis.
The Indiana law, which was signed by Gov.
Mike Pence on Thursday, could protect businesses that don't want to provide service to gay and lesbian couples based on "religious freedom."
It has been met with much condemnation in the sports world, with NCAA President
Mark Emmert speaking out against it and, earlier Tuesday, Southern California athletics director Pat Haden — a member of the College Football Playoff selection committee — stating in a tweet that he will not attend a CFP meeting this week in Indianapolis because he is the "proud father of a gay son."
Connecticut also has a freedom of religion statute, but there are state laws that forbid religion from being used as an excuse for discrimination, including against gay, lesbian and transgender people.
Wow, good thing UConn didn't make the tournament. Woulda gotten to the Final Four and not been able to go because of some ass hat politician. Look what you've done Malloy. I don't know much about the Coaches Convention but it sounds like you should probably be there. And seeing as though UConn basketball is about all the state of Connecticut has going for them, I'd let Kevin Ollie go to the god damn convention. This whole thing is soooooooo stupid. I blogged about it yesterday but it's worth saying again. This is the most overblown thing of all time. Just shut up about this law and stop boycotting an entire fucking state. It's nothing short of insane.