UNION COUNTY, N.C. - A bill was filed on Monday to could pave the way for North Carolina to file an IRS complaint against the NCAA and ACC after they pulled championships over a controversial state law, the bill's author said in an interview with Channel 9.
State Rep. Mark Brody, R-Union County, who filed the Athletic Associations Accountability Act, said his goal is for the IRS to determine if the NCAA and ACC broke the rules by engaging in political activity as a tax-exempt non-profit last fall.
Brody stressed the legislation is the first step of the process. However, he hinted at the possibility of legal action later.
"Once we find out what the IRS opinion is and how [it is] going to define what the ACC and NCAA did then we go from there," Brody said. "If the IRS determines that they did violate their non-profit status, I mean I can't say or confirm one way or another if North Carolina will file a lawsuit against them. We don't know. We'll have to wait to see what the IRS decision might be."
The NCAA and ACC pulled several championships in September over concerns that House Bill 2 is discriminatory. The NCAA could soon pull future championship bids for the state, sports officials warned.
HB2 requires transgender people to use restrooms in public buildings that correspond to the sex on their birth certificates and blocks expansion of LGBT rights in local ordinances and state law. HB2 prompted some businesses and sporting events to spurn North Carolina.
Brody initially announced his intentions in a Facebook post Sunday.
"The NCAA and the ACC have allegedly engaged in excessive lobbying activities that exceeded their respective charters by using economic retaliation against NC for the purpose of forcing the General Assembly to adopt social legislation that is not connected to their core mission," the post said.
The idea drew a quick rebuke from lawmakers across the aisle.
"This is not helpful," tweeted Democratic Sen. Jeff Jackson. "Legally we have no case and strategically we have no leverage. Nothing to gain by poking the ACC right now."
It's yet to be seen what sort of reception the legislation will get in Raleigh.
"This one Republican legislator's attempt certainly will play well with particularly a rural Republican base," said Dr. Michael Bitzer, a political expert with Catawba College. "The North Carolina Republican Party is particularly beholden to those rural interests."
"Whether this is going to gain complete agreement in the Republican conference in both the House and the Senate is anybody's guess."
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