JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The NCAA Board of Governors is banning any NCAA championship events from being held in Mississippi.
The decision was made due to the Confederate symbol represented in Mississippi’s state flag.
The policy, enacted in 2001, previously included sites that were determined in advance of a championship, but now includes events where Mississippi teams may host championships.
This means Mississippi teams will not be able to host a regional or super regional championship on campus, for example.
“Competing in an NCAA championship is a special experience for college athletes who compete at the highest level and we are grateful for the college athlete voice leading to this decision,” said Mark Emmert, NCAA president. “We must do all we can to ensure that NCAA actions reflect our commitment to inclusion and support all our student-athletes. There can be no place within college sports where any student-athlete is demeaned or unwelcome.”
Thursday night, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey called on Mississippi to change the state flag, and Ole Miss and Mississippi State leaders put out statements in agreement with Sankey.
As recently as 2019, both Mississippi State and Ole Miss hosted regionals in baseball, and Mississippi State hosted a super regional. Mississippi State women’s basketball and Ole Miss softball have also hosted multiple regionals in the past few years.
The C-USA Baseball Championship has also been hosted in Mississippi since 2014, with games in Hattiesburg and Biloxi.
Those games would have to be played elsewhere under the new rules.