The Final Four is in Indianapolis this weekend, focusing a magnifying glass on Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act that critics have said could allow businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians.
The Final Four coaches issued a joint statement this week supporting the NCAA’s stance against the law, a stance echoed by LSU coach Johnny Jones.
“I strongly support the position of the NCAA and our respective institutions on this matter – that discrimination of any kind should not be tolerated,” said Jones, who is attending the Final Four. “In America’s higher education system, college basketball plays an important role in diversity, equality, fairness and inclusion.”
LSU athletic director Joe Alleva, a member of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee that oversees the Final Four and the men’s tournament, also said he supported the stance of the NCAA and NCAA President Mark Emmert.
Emmert, LSU’s former chancellor, has been vocal in his opposition to the law.
Louisiana-Lafayette basketball coach Bob Marlin, also attending the Final Four, declined to comment.
Some coaches, such as Kevin Ollie of 2014 NCAA tournament champion Connecticut, boycotted the Final Four with his staff in compliance with an order from Connecticut’s governor prohibiting state employees from traveling to Indiana.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on Thursday signed a measure aimed at removing fears that the law could be used to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.