ACC moves baseball tournament over flag dispute
CLEMSON — The Atlantic Coast Conference announced Monday it has decided against allowing Myrtle Beach to host the conference baseball tournament because of the controversy surrounding the Confederate flag flying on the grounds of the state capitol.
Myrtle Beach was awarded the 2011-13 tournaments earlier this year. The ACC announced the tournament will be held in Greensboro, N.C., in 2012, and in Durham, N.C., in 2011 and 2013.
ACC commissioner John Swofford said Monday the tournament had originally been awarded to Myrtle Beach with the understanding it ``had the blessing of all parties involved.'' But the decision drew criticism from the NAACP.
"It's unfortunate that this miscommunication occurred,'' Swofford
stated in a release Monday.
"Since the original announcement we have had productive conversations with members of the NAACP. In the end, given the conference's commitment to diversity, equality and human rights, our institutions have determined that this change should be made."
In 2000, a state government compromise led to the Confederate flag being removed from the state capitol, placed at a Confederate soldiers' monument near the building. However, the NCAAP is calling for a complete removal of the flag and has instituted a boycott of South Carolina since 2000.
The NCAA has barred championship play in South Carolina since 2001.
Though not bound to follow the NCAA, the ACC and SEC conferences have supported the NAACP's position and followed NCAA policy.
ACC presidents agreed in 2005 to consider awarding league postseason tournaments to South Carolina, provided the host site presented a plan suitable to the NAACP.
Steve Phillips, a spokesman for the ACC, told the Myrtle Beach Sun News the conference thought all parties, including the NCAAP, had been consulted prior to awarding the tournament to Myrtle Beach, which was not the case.
The 2010 conference tournament had originally been scheduled to be played at Fenway Park in Boston, but was moved due to the economic slump. Next spring's tournament will be held in Greensboro.