A few college baseball teams from Minnesota could miss out on their chance to compete for a national championship because those tournaments are being held in North Carolina.
This comes about a month after Gov. Mark Dayton banned nonessential state employee travel to North Carolina after the state passed a controversial bathroom bill critics call anti-transgender.
The governor's ban didn't include MnSCU, but the school system's presidents "expressed their support" for Dayton's decision, Doug Anderson, MnSCU communications director, told the Pioneer Press.
Anderson released a statement to the Pioneer Press and St. Cloud Times saying:
"The presidents have concluded that athletics-related travel is non-essential for purposes of this directive. While we understand that some players may be disappointed, no sports team from any of our colleges or universities will participate in tournaments in North Carolina this spring."
St. Cloud State is among the teams that is in the running for a chance to play in the Division II World Series in North Carolina at the end of the month, the St. Cloud Times says. The team is ranked No. 1 in the latest NCAA Division II Central Regional Poll and No. 3 in the national poll.
Minnesota State University Mankato, which is ranked No. 7 in the Central Regional Poll, has a history of playing in the World Series, with its most recent appearance in 2014.
The University of Minnesota Duluth, which is ranked third in the Central Regional Poll, isn't affected by MnSCU's decision because it's part of a different school system, according to the Duluth News Tribune. Despite that, UMD's athletic director Josh Berlo released a statement regarding MnSCU's decision:
MnSCU's decision could also affect some Division III schools that are competing for their chance to play in the National Junior College Athletic Association championships in North Carolina later this month. Those schools include Century College and St. Cloud Tech, which are ranked ninth and 10th, respectively.
Dwight Kotila, coach of Century College's baseball team, said "everyone supports the opposition" to North Carolina's law, but it's "not really fair" to the student athletes, the Star Tribune reports. Kotila added that the tournaments are planned "years in advance, so for them to come in at the last minute and say 'you can't go' just doesn't make a lot of sense to a lot of us."
BringMeTheNews has reached out to MnSCU for more information on its decision.