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California adds 4 states, including Texas, to travel-ban list; impact on collegiate sports unclear

California’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, added four new states to an official travel-ban list Friday, pointing to new laws in those respective jurisdictions deemed discriminatory to LGBT individuals. But the move has some wondering if the decision could have negative repercussions on college athletics in the Golden State.

“The state of California is not going to participate in discriminatory conduct by other states,” Mr. Becerra, a former Democratic congressman, said at his announcement adding Alabama, Kentucky, South Dakota and Texas to a list that already included Kansas, Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee. The initial four were named by Mr. Becerra’s predecessor, Kamala Harris, who now serves as the junior U.S. senator from the Golden State.

The law, which took effect in January, applies to California state employees, including those who work for public-education institutions like schools within the University of California system, the San Francisco Chronicle said.

The Chronicle added, however, that it was unclear whether the state would forbid collegiate athletic teams from traveling to any of those eight states for competitions: Mr. Becerra’s office has yet to weigh in on that question.

According to sports-news site SBNation.com, it’s likely that a loophole in the law will not pose any problems for regular-season road games in those states that were already scheduled for the 2017 season, since the legislation does not apply retroactively to impact arrangements made before January 1, 2017 that involve travel to those banned states.

Where things get particularly tricky, however, is potential conflicts involve postseason collegiate football.

“If the [Texas-based] Alamo [Bowl] wanted Cal or UCLA, for example, could that school argue that since the conference’s contract with the bowl was signed before 2017, it thus has exempt status?” SBNation posed as a hypothetical.

It appears, however, that none of the other six listed exceptions to the travel ban readily apply to the interests of athletic teams, meaning that schedulers moving forward will need to take care to avoid road games in states under the ban.

The California Department of Justice web page summarizing the content and laying out the exceptions to the state travel ban can be found here.

Source: www.washingtontimes.com stories: Politics

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