ACC moves 3 future baseball tourneys

Updated: July 6, 2009, 5:23 PM ET
Associated Press

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Unresolved disputes concerning the Confederate flag have led the Atlantic Coast Conference to move three future baseball tournaments out of South Carolina.

League officials said Monday that the ACC instead will hold its championship in Durham, N.C., in 2011 and '13 and in Greensboro in 2012.

The ACC previously awarded the tournament to Myrtle Beach, S.C., from 2011-13, but that decision drew criticism from the NAACP, which has boycotted South Carolina for nearly a decade for flying and then displaying the Confederate flag on state capitol grounds.

Four years ago, ACC presidents agreed that the league would consider awarding championships to South Carolina venues on a case-by-case basis if the host groups' proposals included plans to work with the NAACP, conference officials said.

"Our baseball committee and institutional administrators awarded the championships to Myrtle Beach with the understanding that the event had the blessings of all parties within the state of South Carolina. It has become clear this was not the case," commissioner John Swofford said.

"It's unfortunate that this miscommunication occurred and since the original announcement, we have had productive conversations with members of the NAACP," he added. "In the end, given the conference's commitment to diversity, equality and human rights, our institutions have determined that this change should be made."

The NAACP has boycotted South Carolina since 2000, when the Confederate flag flew over the Statehouse, and sanctions led to a legislative compromise where the banner was taken down and placed at a Confederate soldier's monument in front of the Capitol building. Opponents said the new location made the flag even more visible and demanded it be removed to a museum. The boycott has continued since.

Opponents of the flag say it's a symbol of racism and hatred. Flag supporters say it honors heritage.

The NCAA has had a moratorium on awarding predetermined championships to South Carolina since 2001. Leagues are not bound by the NCAA's guidelines regarding the Confederate flag, though the ACC and Southeastern Conference have largely adhered to similar stances.

The 2010 tournament will be played in Greensboro. It originally was scheduled for Fenway Park in Boston, but the ACC brought the event closer to the center of the league to lower travel costs.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press