Sankey was also asked about Governor Phil Bryant’s decision to sign the Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act (HB1523) into law last week, which has been a controversial topic.
The act allows private businesses, along with government workers, to deny services and goods to the LGBT community based on religious beliefs. When it comes deciding the sites of neutral-site events, the act will be taken into account.
“The first thing I’d say is, both of our universities in Mississippi, their presidents issued statements about the fact their campuses are places of diversity and welcoming campuses to all,” Sankey said. “And I have said that as well on social issues. What our policy has been is that as we make decisions about championship sites, we’ll take into account a variety of issues and state issues, like the state flag issue in the past. And this is one that is now emerging that will be a part of that conversation as well.”
Rotational championships are still in play for Mississippi, though.
“On our campuses, our rotational championships are on-campus championships,” Sankey said. “We have not stopped those championships from being hosted in South Carolina in the past or Mississippi … with the idea that our campuses are places of inclusion and welcoming to young people. As it relates to the neutral site championship determination, that’s when we take a broader look at issues.”