In news that loosely effects Utah, and may affect them more in the future, fellow Pac-12 schools, UCLA and Cal can’t travel to eight states to either play opponents or recruit. Per our friends over at Cal Golden Blogs:
“California law AB1887 prohibits state funds or state-sponsored legislation to go to travel to states that have laws that discriminate against the LGBTQ community. This prohibited state employees of the University of California for making trips to states that enacted discriminatory laws, like Kansas, North Carolina, Mississippi and Tennessee.”
The new states that the schools can’t attend are Texas, Kentucky, Alabama and South Dakota. This is interesting politically, which we won’t discuss here, but also athletically, especially the state of Texas. Texas is a well known hotbed for football recruiting. For schools like UCLA and Cal, they can’t take paid recruiting trips to Texas. Now, this doesn’t mean they’re going to lose a lot of recruits, but I know this can severely dent how many kids they can see and compete for.
It will also be interesting to see how those schools handle any post season games that may happen in Texas. I believe a lot of NCAA Gymnastics Nationals are going to be in Fort Worth, how will that work for UCLA, Utah’s primary Pac-12 rival? What about bowl games? I think there will be a lot of debate around that as it happens.
Something to remember, especially at the athletic disadvantage to Cal and UCLA, USC and Stanford are both private schools, so these laws won’t affect them, while Cal and UCLA are both public schools. How much of an advantage is this for Stanford and USC, already the two better schools, at least football wise, than Cal and UCLA is yet to be determined.
One reason why this caught my attention is because we live in the state of Utah, a notoriously conservative state. As of now, Utah doesn’t have any laws that would have the state of California “ban” employees from visiting the state (at least that I know of), but what if there is/was? How would the conference handle such a thing? I highly doubt the state legislature of California is all that concerned about conference affiliation. It no doubt would create a major issue between the schools, and within the conference.
I do think this is an issue that fans of the Pac-12 need to keep their eyes on, because there could be a lot of ramifications in the coming years from these laws in California. To see more from Cal’s perspective on this, check out their page californiagoldenblogs.com.