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Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2007 13:35:31 -0000
Subject: [Confederatecivilrights] NCAA won't expand Confederate flag ban
NCAA won't expand Confederate flag ban
By PETE IACOBELLI AP Sports Writer
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Wofford athletic director Richard Johnson wasn't sure
what to think last summer when the NCAA agreed to hear a request to
expand its ban on South Carolina because of the Confederate flag.
Terrier football had become a Division I-AA power, winning a pair of
home playoff games in 2003 on the way to the NCAA semifinals. Enhancing
the ban to include championships awarded on merit -- like football
playoffs and baseball regionals -- would've seriously hurt Wofford's
chances of advancing in future tournaments.
"We won our first two rounds at home," Johnson said Wednesday.
"Obviously, that's a big home-field advantage."
And one the Terriers and other South Carolina colleges can still enjoy.
An NCAA committee chose against stiffening the ban for South Carolina
and Mississippi since schools in those states can do little to affect
South Carolina flies the Confederate flag at a Statehouse monument.
Mississippi's state flag contains the Confederate emblem.
The NCAA has prohibited either state from holding predetermined
championships like NCAA basketball regionals since 2001 because of
The NCAA Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee was acting this
week on a request from the Black Coaches Association. The NCAA panel
voted that since "institutions in South Carolina and Mississippi do not
have control over where the Confederate flag is placed outside of their
campus" it wasn't fair to punish their athletes.
The NAACP began an economic boycott of South Carolina in 2000 when the
flag flew atop the Statehouse dome. The state's highest profile coaches
at the time -- South Carolina's Lou Holtz and Eddie Fogler, and
Clemson's Tommy Bowden and Larry Shyatt -- marched in support of the
flag coming down.
A legislative compromise later that year moved the flag to a
Confederate monument in front of the Statehouse, a switch the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People said was as prominent
a location as before. The NAACP has continued its boycott ever since.
BCA executive director Floyd Keith was disappointed by the NCAA
committee's decision. "But I understand why they did it," he told The
Associated Press by phone.
Lonnie Randolph, president of the South Carolina NAACP, says the NCAA's
latest choice was a fence-straddling decision that proved "people don't
like to talk about race. This state and this country does not want to
have an open dialogue about how bad race still is in South Carolina."
The move brought relief to athletic administrators in the Palmetto
State who had little impact in changing legislative policy. Lawmakers
have repeatedly said the flag was a settled issue.
It's no coincidence that teams with home playoff games have an edge.
Clemson's baseball team has held NCAA regionals at its Doug Kingsmore
Stadium nine times since 1994. Its five appearances in the College
World Series all have come after playing early NCAA tournament games at
South Carolina has reached the CWS three times since 2002, advancing
from Sarge Frye Field in every case.
Furman's football team is 4-1 in home Division I-AA playoff games since
2001. The Paladins are 2-4 in road playoff games over that span.
Furman AD Gary Clark was certain the NCAA would broaden the sanctions
until reading some mollifying comments from officials with the
governing body. "This was really kind of a surprise," he said.
Keith wasn't sure if his group would continue to press expanding the
ban. He was more certain the Confederate flag would remain divisive. "I
don't think this is the last time we're going to talk about this," he
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