College Leagues Threatens To Pull Championship Events From New Jersey
The NCAA and Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference are moving to relocate several championship events scheduled to take place in New Jersey after it the state announced it will start issuing licenses for sports betting in January.
Citing sports integrity and the well-being of student-athletes, the NCAA said Monday that it will find new hosts for five championships scheduled to be held in New Jersey next year.
Those events include 2013 NCAA Division I women’s basketball regional in Trenton, the Division I Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship’s Diving Regionals in Piscataway, the Division III Men’s Volleyball Championship in Hoboken and the Division II and III Women’s Lacrosse Championships in Montclair according to USA Today.
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Commissioner Rich Ensor says the MAAC will join the protest move by finding new locations for its baseball championship scheduled for Trenton’s Waterfront Park in May and men’s and women’s rowing championships at Mercer County Park in West Windsor in April. MAAC member Rider University is the host school for the events.
Ensor said the decison is “Pretty consistent with what the NCAA’s position has been, and I’m supportive of that position. I voted against the (gambling) initiative as a New Jersey resident.” He admits it will be hard to find new venues in the New York and Philadelphia areas due to commitments already made by possible alternate locations.
The four major professional sports leagues and the NCAA have sued to stop the state from granting sports gambling licenses. New Jersey’s Legislature approved sports gambling in defiance of a federal ban earlier this year.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.