DURHAM (WTVD) --In a major but not wholly unexpected move, the CIAA voted to move eight of its 10 conference championships out of North Carolina in protest of House Bill 2.
The biggest move is the Nov. 12 CIAA championship football game that would've been played at Durham County Memorial Stadium.
For five of the past six years, Durham County Stadium has played host to the game. The football championship drew more than 10,000 fans in 2011, nearly a conference record.
But Friday, the CIAA followed the lead of the NCAA, the ACC, and the NBA by pulling its big-name, locally lucrative championships out of the state.
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At St. Augustine's University in Raleigh, one of three local CIAA schools, reaction was mixed. Many students here are against HB2 in principle. But as football fans, they're not happy about losing the game.
"It's sad," said St. Aug's freshman Lyrica Evans who called the decision unfair. "No, that's not fair to the players. Because, mind you, this is something that they love to do."
The CIAA's decision is the latest fallout over HB2, the North Carolina law that bans people from using public restrooms and dressing facilities that don't align with the gender on their birth certificate.
"I feel like we're all equal people," said St. Aug's freshman Alexis Kirkland, who says she's opposed to the law. "I feel like you're entitled to be who you are."
But, for Kirkland, the idea of the Triangle losing out on hosting the football championship in protest of the law is a bridge too far.
"No, I think it should still be held here. I think it shouldn't matter. I think it should still be held here ... despite everything," Kirkland said.
In its board of directors meeting Friday afternoon, the CIAA decided to keep its popular basketball tournaments in Charlotte, this February. The board cited contractual obligations with the city.
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