The Nov. 12 game between Duke and Albany is off the schedule, thanks to New York’s policy banning certain types of official travel to North Carolina in the wake of that state’s anti-LGBT HB2 law.
Duke was scheduled to host two games of the Hall of Fame Tipoff tournament, but is now scrambling for a second opponent after the State University of New York system, of which Albany is part, confirmed that the Great Danes won’t head to Durham. NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order in March banning non-essential publicly funded travel to North Carolina. As a SUNY, Albany’s trip would qualify.
Cuomo’s order came as a response to North Carolina’s HB2, a law best known for forcing transgender people to use the bathroom of their birth gender, but much more insidious for excluding LGBT protections from statewide anti-discrimination policies, and preventing municipalities from enacting anti-discrimination policies of their own.
A SUNY spokesperson sent this statement to the Albany Times Union:
“The State University of New York supports Governor Cuomo’s executive order banning all non-essential travel to the state of North Carolina, and we instructed our campuses to immediately review any existing travel plans by faculty and staff. SUNY and its campuses continue to support the Governor on taking this stand.”
Albany’s AD also told the paper that the university supports the governor’s position.
This isn’t much of a punishment for North Carolina. Duke will get some other cupcake to fill out their schedule. (Albany will now open their season at Penn State instead.) But where this sort of sanction may have an effect is if more and more entities follow through on threats to shun the state. The big one, of course, is the NBA’s hints that it could pull the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte, though commissioner Adam Silver hasn’t mentioned that since April.