The politics behind Indiana's new Religious Freedom Restoration Act are well-documented for their controversy elsewhere. Also well-documented elsewhere is the response from a variety of businesses and organizations - including NCAA entities - to the apparent climate in Indiana.
I didn't expect the RFRA to impact UB sports in any way, but a mandate from Governor Cuomo today makes me wonder if it it will. Following precedent established by the Mayors of Seattle and San Francisco, the Governor of Connecticut, and presumably others, New York's Governor today announced a ban on publicly-funded travel to Indiana
Today, I direct all agencies, departments, boards and commissions to immediately review all requests for state funded or state sponsored travel to the State of Indiana and to bar any such publicly funded travel that is not essential to the enforcement of state law or public health and safety. The ban on publicly funded travel shall take effect immediately.
All of a sudden, I wonder if UB Athletics travel to a certain MAC opponent in Muncie, Indiana is permitted. Is it too much of a stretch to think that the athletic department could move some money around and use private-donated funds? Probably not, but it's still a question I have.
For what it's worth, Baseball just returned from Ball State, while Women's Tennis and Softball both head there this weekend. No other teams are scheduled to travel to Indiana in regular season play through the rest of the spring, and fall schedules are not yet released.
I sent questions in a few directions asking if UB Athletics would be affected, and the general consensus is that it's unsure, but probably ok. I think it's likely, as well, that travel arrangements are already in place for this weekend, and this directive simply comes too late to stop the UB teams from traveling in four days.
The MAC was, however, set to hold the Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Muncie this year. Today Commissioner Steinbrecher announced that the MAC would not schedule further championships or events in Indiana. It's unclear to me if that means this year's Championships will be moved, or simply that new Championships will not be scheduled in the state.
UPDATE: Steve Vesey of WKBW is reporting that UB will not play in Indiana this weekend and that softball and women's tennis are working out a neutral site location.
I hope I'm being overly cautious is emphasizing this is not a politics article. I can't moderate anything in the comments if you want to talk about the issue, but it's not a politics post. I think we've learned pretty clearly that doesn't work here at Bull Run. Hit me up at my personal Twitter if you want that from me.