Published: June 23, 2020

The NCAA Board of Governors, which includes CU Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano, strengthened the association’s policy against display of the confederate flag on Friday as a wave of momentum to remove confederate monuments and imagery sweeps across the country.

The new policy will “prevent any NCAA championship events from being played in states where the symbol has a prominent presence.” 

“Removing these divisive symbols is a national movement that is long overdue, and the Board’s action demonstrates that our member institutions are dedicated to ensuring our events are inclusive for all of our student-athletes and fans,” DiStefano said.

Since 2001, NCAA policy had barred the awarding of championship event sites to states where the confederate flag is displayed. That left open the possibility, however, for teams in such states to host NCAA championship events where sites are determined by seeding or ranking. The expanded policy removes that caveat.

Mississippi, where the state flag contains the confederate symbol in the upper left corner, is the only state affected by the NCAA’s policy. Southeastern Conference members Mississippi and Mississippi State both hosted NCAA baseball regionals during the 2019 NCAA tournament, an example of the type of events that would not be allowed under the new policy. 

The Board of Governors’ move came one day after Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey demanded that the state of Mississippi remove the confederate symbol from its state flag, threatening to no longer hold its championship events in the state.