NCAA's stance on HB2: Social justice or PR grandstanding?
- Inside Higher Ed profiles the role of the NCAA in social justice engagement stemming from member institutions, following its announcement of the removal of several national championships from North Carolina in protest of its HB2 law.
- The association has historically spoken out against defamation of Native American tribal names in college mascots and monikers, and has previously threatened or removed championships from states with anti-LGBT legislation. But some observers say the association does not apply its social justice imperative evenly, specifically against schools with federal waivers to discriminate against LGBT students for religious reasons.
- Some social justice efforts have failed; after multiple lawsuits being filed against the NCAA, it rescinded nearly all sanctions levied against Penn State University following revelations of sexual abuse in its football program.
The NCAA has long-been viewed as an opportunistic organization which takes up issues for the sake of solid public relations, but damages that effort in its uneven punishment of institutions for violations of its own bylaws like the massive academic fraud case at the University of North Carolina.
For college leaders and executive stakeholders, dealing with the NCAA on social justice matters is typically a choice between avoiding a public relations headache and investing legal resources to win cases that the NCAA will inevitably lose, but doesn't mind fighting for the sake of headlines and the protection of its organizational brand. But for smaller schools that receive public penalties for academic progress, and which are hamstrung by archaic rules on amateurism and benefits, the headache is far more prevalent beyond social justice matters.
- Inside Higher Ed Social justice warrior or hypocrite?