STORRS, Conn. (WTNH) — Coach Kevin Ollie and his staff will not travel to Indiana for the Final Four and a coaches’ conference.
Tuesday evening, UConn president Susan Herbst announced the school’s decision.
In support of Governor Malloy’s travel ban to the state of Indiana, Kevin Ollie and other members of the UConn men’s basketball staff will not travel to Indianapolis for the NCAA Final Four and events surrounding it. UConn is a community that values all of our members and treats each person with the same degree of respect, regardless of their background and beliefs and we will not tolerate any other behavior.”
Governor Malloy signed an executive order Monday banning state-funded travel to Indiana as a boycott of the state’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, but left it up to UConn to decide if the coaches and staff should obey that order. The University has backed him with its decision.
“There are gay men and gay women who participate in intercollegiate sports,” said Gov. Malloy. “What kind of message does it send when we’re saying we’re going to schedule events in states that openly discriminate against gay people?”
While the governor made his stance perfectly clear and UConn’s administration heard it, what do students think of this decision? Varuna Khattar supports the Governor.
“It’s a conversation that needs to happen,” said Khattar. “Whether they go to the game or not is their personal decision, but I’m glad to see people outside the LGBT community taking an interest.”
Nick Denardo says sports and politics don’t mix.
“I would like to see Kevin Ollie there,” he said. “I don’t like the decision, but they’re the ones in charge.”
Alex Swift saw both sides of the issue.
“It’s good to take a stand for what you believe in, but these guys worked really hard to get to where they are, and they should be able to go regardless of the politics.”