Confederate group says it’ll push back on NCAA flag sanctions

Associated Press Writer

COLUMBIA, S.C. | The Sons of Confederate Veterans plans to try and counter NAACP
efforts to prevent South Carolina colleges from hosting postseason tournaments
as the civil rights group presses sanctions against the state for flying the Confederate
flag on Statehouse grounds here.

"Nobody really seems to be making South Carolina’s case before the NCAA,"
Don Gordon, spokesman for the South Carolina division of the Sons of Confederate
veterans, said Monday. "We’re going to try to resolve that."

An NCAA committee is waiting for information from the NAACP and Urban League
as it considers a Black Coaches Association request to expand a ban of championship
events ban, said Robert Vowels Jr., the Southwestern Athletic Conference commissioner
leading the NCAA committee.

The NCAA already bars scheduled postseason championship games in South Carolina.
However, it allows South Carolina teams to host games when they earn slots,
such as regional postseason baseball play.

The Confederate heritage group’s input would be "another data point"
for NCAA’s Minority Opportunities and Interest Committee to consider, Vowels

The committee is waiting for leaders of the NAACP and Urban League to discuss
what they want to happen and to meet with South Carolina legislators on the
flag’s fate, Vowels said.

"We’ve made no recommendation one way or the other," he said. "We’re
waiting on them."

The NAACP started an economic boycott of South Carolina in 2000 because the
Confederate banner flew over the Capitol dome and in House and Senate chambers.
The Legislature voted that year to move the flag to a monument of Confederate
war dead outside the Statehouse – giving it much greater visibility on one of
Columbia’s busiest streets.

Since then, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
has expanded its sanctions and helped persuade the NCAA to join the effort.
In 2001, the NCAA announced its moratorium and has since decided to continue
it indefinitely.

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