By JIM DAVENPORT
Associated Press Writer
COLUMBIA, S.C. | The Sons of Confederate Veterans plans to try and counter NAACP efforts to prevent South Carolina colleges from hosting postseason tournaments as the civil rights group presses sanctions against the state for flying the Confederate flag on Statehouse grounds here.
"Nobody really seems to be making South Carolina’s case before the NCAA," Don Gordon, spokesman for the South Carolina division of the Sons of Confederate veterans, said Monday. "We’re going to try to resolve that."
An NCAA committee is waiting for information from the NAACP and Urban League as it considers a Black Coaches Association request to expand a ban of championship events ban, said Robert Vowels Jr., the Southwestern Athletic Conference commissioner leading the NCAA committee.
The NCAA already bars scheduled postseason championship games in South Carolina. However, it allows South Carolina teams to host games when they earn slots, such as regional postseason baseball play.
The Confederate heritage group’s input would be "another data point" for NCAA’s Minority Opportunities and Interest Committee to consider, Vowels said.
The committee is waiting for leaders of the NAACP and Urban League to discuss what they want to happen and to meet with South Carolina legislators on the flag’s fate, Vowels said.
"We’ve made no recommendation one way or the other," he said. "We’re waiting on them."
The NAACP started an economic boycott of South Carolina in 2000 because the Confederate banner flew over the Capitol dome and in House and Senate chambers. The Legislature voted that year to move the flag to a monument of Confederate war dead outside the Statehouse – giving it much greater visibility on one of Columbia’s busiest streets.
Since then, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has expanded its sanctions and helped persuade the NCAA to join the effort. In 2001, the NCAA announced its moratorium and has since decided to continue it indefinitely.