UConn’s Ollie Won’t Travel to Final Four Because of New Law
PAT EATON-ROBB, Associated Press
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — UConn men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie will not be traveling to the Final Four this week, abiding by a travel ban ordered by Connecticut’s governor because of Indiana’s new religious-objections law, the school announced Tuesday.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and other critics contend the law would allow businesses to deny service to gays and lesbians based on religious beliefs. The governor on Monday signed an executive order banning state spending on travel to Indiana.
Malloy left the decision to travel to the Final Four up to Ollie and the university, which had already paid for much of his trip. UConn was the 2014 national champion and Ollie was to attend coaches meetings and other events surrounding this year’s championship.
University President Susan Herbst issued a statement Tuesday evening in support of the governor’s ban and said neither Ollie nor any other member of the basketball staff would travel to Indianapolis.
“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.” Herbst said.
Warde Manuel, UConn’s athletic director, told The Associated Press on Monday that he also finds the law unacceptable. He said he hopes the state of Indiana rectifies the situation before UConn or any other institution considers a boycott of the 2016 women’s Final Four, which also is being held in the city.
“They have a choice to make and I think others have choices to make on whether they’ll spend money at the businesses in the state of Indiana,” he said.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence urged lawmakers Tuesday to send a bill to his desk by the end of the week to clarify the intent of the new law. He said he does not believe that lawmakers meant to create a vehicle to allow discrimination.
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