The National Collegiate Athletic Association has too much power. Aside from the other issues people might have with the NCAA, it is clear it can have direct influence on non-sports related political policy.
This extraordinary power was made abundantly clear last week with the expiration of the deadline the association had handed to the North Carolina General Assembly concerning the repeal of controversial House Bill 2.
The NCAA makes all the calls in determining the location for NCAA tournaments, including the one that climaxed yesterday in the National Championship game in Phoenix.
The economic boon from hosting an NCAA-sponsored championship as big as the one last night is tremendous. Businesses like hotels, restaurants, bars, parking facilities and gas stations benefit greatly from hosting thousands of sports fans. Clearly, a political institution has an incentive to appease the NCAA — even here in North Carolina.
Last week, the Associated Press released a projected cost of HB2, estimated at around $3.76 billion, some of which would have come from the NCAA’s refusal to host tournaments in the state.