San Diego State’s men’s basketball team is caught in the middle of a legislative dispute between Californa and Kansas.
The Aztecs are scheduled to play its first NCAA Tournament game in Wichita, Kan., this week. Under California law, the public university needs to privately finance the trip.
SDSU is in this situation becase the California Legislature passed, and Gov. Jerry Brown signed, a measure in 2016 that prohibits, among other things, public universities from scheduling athletic events vs. teams in Kansas and seven other states, and from using public dollars to pay for trips to those states for events such as the NCAA Tournament and football bowl games. Those eight states have enacted legislation that California believes is discriminatory toward homosexual and transgendered people.
“We’ve dealt with this a couple of times,” Mike May, San Diego State’s senior associate athletic director for communication, told the Wichita Eagle. “It means we have to use non-state funds for any expenses that are incurred.” It’s not known how much money SDSU will need to raise.
In December, San Diego State used money from a university foundation to pay for the football team’s trip to the Armed Forces Bowl in Texas, one of the states on the list. The Mountain West Conference later reimbursed the university, which in turn reimbursed the foundation, the Eagle noted.
SDSU won’t need to worry about private financing if it reaches the Sweet 16: The West Region semis and final will be at Staples Center in Los Angeles. If the Aztecs manage to reach the Final Four, however, the hunt for cash will need to resume: Those games will be played in San Antonio.