NCAA Ban on Post Season Sports in Mississippi

Since 2001, the NCAA has banned post-season college sports games in states that fly the Confederate flag on their capitol grounds. Just yesterday, MGM Park made a major announcement that it will host the Conference USA Baseball Championship in the spring. How can that be?
The Conference USA Championship Tournament coming to Biloxi is a major score for the Coast. The move even has Southern Miss Athletic Director Bill McGillis looking to the future. “I hope it just starts with baseball. I hope we can sneak that baseball tournament down here to the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. I think that’s possible.”
Possible? Maybe. Legal? Not yet. That’s because the NCAA prohibits post-season games in states that fly the Confederate flag on capitol grounds, which means Mississippi is the only state banned from hosting the games. How is it that Biloxi landed the Conference USA Championship? Overtime Sports President Tim Bennett said, “Baseball is not sanctioned by the same rules that apply to basketball and football. We were able to not get around it but basically sign a legal contract that allows it to come here.”
Baseball and softball are not on the list of NCAA prohibited sports in Mississippi. Football, basketball and other sports are. “Basketball and football, those are the big revenue generating sports for most every institution in the country. This was done as a way for the NCAA to maybe reach into each individual state, with the last two being South Carolina and Mississippi, to try and get them to change the state flag.”
It’s no secret that post-season tournaments like Conference USA bring in big bucks. Could a change to Mississippi’s flag practices be a smart play in our state’s goal to win more chances to host post-season events and bring in more revenue? Bennett says that’s not a question for him to answer. “The flag issue, that’s something for the governor and the citizens of Mississippi to determine which state flag they want to fly. At this point, we’re just happy to play ball.”
Now that South Carolina has removed their state flag, Mississippi remains the only state under the NCAA’s ban.

Categories: Local News, Mississippi State News, News

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