- - Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA, has been overcome by a form of March Madness that has nothing to do with basketball or brackets. It has everything to do with restrooms and political correctness on steroids.

The NCAA threatens to deny North Carolina consideration for hosting championship-series games through the year 2022 unless the legislature repeals its “Bathroom Bill,” so called, which regulates public restrooms, locker rooms and shower rooms on the basis of biological sex, not what someone says his or her sex — or “gender,” for the squeamish — may be when nature calls.

The NCAA has pulled seven championship football, basketball and soccer games in North Carolina during this academic year. The arbiter of college athletics says this was done because of what it says the “cumulative impact H.B. 2 had on local communities’ ability to assure a safe, healthy, discrimination-free atmosphere for all those watching and participating in our events.”

The sites for the next five years will be announced April 18, and the NCAA warns “that as the state knows our various sports committees will begin making championship-site selections for 2018-2022 based upon bids received from across the country.”

North Carolina lawmakers must capitulate to the demands of the hysterical LGBT lobby, and throw open the doors of all public restrooms to the vanishingly small percentage of the population that insists on deciding whether male or female as the mood strikes — or else. What any of that has to do with North Carolina’s ability and fitness to host NCAA games is, like the sex of someone answering the call of nature, anyone’s guess.

This childish confusion is all to cater to the estimated 0.003 of 1 percent of the population. Where is the concern for the privacy rights of that other 99.997 percent?

If the NCAA is so determined to make public restrooms a free-for-all, why do its member schools separate the restrooms and locker rooms of the men’s and women’s athletic teams? Why not lead by example?

The NCAA, like the National Basketball Association, which withdrew its all-star game from Charlotte to enforce LGBT whims, and the Democrats in the North Carolina Legislature, warned that bad things would happen to the state’s economy unless everybody learns to pee together and like it.

But this newspaper’s Bradford Richardson and Valerie Richardson report that the financial impact of protecting restroom privacy in North Carolina has been negligible. A review of reams of 2016 economic statistics — such as hotel-occupancy rates and the attracting and expanding of businesses and corporate facilities — shows that the boycotts have “failed to derail North Carolina as a regional and national powerhouse.”

Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, a Republican who strongly supports H.B. 2, says the economic impact has been “less than one-tenth of 1 percent” of North Carolina’s annual gross domestic product.

The NCAA is a private organization, and can set whatever criteria it wishes for where it holds its games, but North Carolina and every other state dictates its public policy. Perhaps the NCAA wants to distract attention from its own real problems, such as the thuggery of many of those whom it calls “student-athletes.” Beating up women has become so common among “student-athletes” that the righteous officers of the NCAA might be tempted to make it a sport. Nobody else wants those games.

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