NCAA president: N.C. events withdrawal over "bathroom law" was a "no brainer"

The National Collegiate Athletic Association is pulling seven championship events from North Carolina over the state’s so-called “bathroom law.”

The NCAA now joins dozens of high-profile companies, CEOs, entertainers, universities and states and cities that have spoken out against the law, known as HB2. The law requires transgender people to use public restrooms that corresponded with the sex on their birth certificate and not their gender identity, which is currently being challenged by the Justice Department and American Civil Liberties Union.  

On “CBS This Morning,” Tuesday, NCAA President Mark Emmert said the decision of the board –  made up of 16 college and university presidents -- was a “no brainer.”

“The reason the university presidents reached this conclusion… is because this is about sports that are conducted in the context of universities that are trying to reflect the values of higher education in America -- inclusion, fairness, treating all of your student athletes, the coaches, their fans in a way that reflects those values in our championships,” Emmert said. “That’s what matters most.”

But the decision is getting some pushback, including from North Carolina’s GOP spokesperson who called it “almost comical.”

“I wished the NCAA was this concerned about the women who were raped at Baylor,” Kami Mueller said, referring to the sexual assault allegations involving several of the university’s football players and alleged cover-ups by administrators. Emmet said the two cases were “totally unrelated,” and rejected the statement as “false,” mentioning the NCAA’s resolution two years ago on how schools should handle sexual assault. 

The NCAA’s 2014 Sexual Violence Prevention and Complaint Resolution proposes that athletic departments must comply with campus authorities and all federal and state laws, educate student athletes, coaches and staff about prevention, and cooperate in investigations. 

Still, there is no definitive policy. Emmert said the board is “in the midst of formulating” whether or not the policy should become enforced in schools, allowing the NCAA to punish schools who mishandle these cases. 

Under current NCAA rules, Olympic athletes can get paid from the U.S. Olympic Committee based on their performances at the Olympic games or similar world championships. But Emmert said the policy hasn’t been updated for 15 years and that the organization may reconsider how Olympic student athletes get compensated. 

For gold medalist Katie Ledecky​, who plans on attending Stanford University as a collegiate swimmer, she will have to pass on millions of dollars she could earn from endorsements and sponsorships.  

“What individuals have to do -- whether they’re Olympians or basketball players -- is, they’ve got to make a decision whether or not they want to maintain their amateur status or compete as a student athlete or to become a professional athlete,” Emmert said. “Those decisions are individual decisions that people have to make.”