INDIANAPOLIS (April 1, 2015) – All four universities participating in this weekend’s Final Four tournament have issued statements in response to Indiana’s new “Religious Freedom” law:
“Duke University continues to stand alongside the LGBT community in seeking a more equal and inclusive world, and we deplore any effort to legislate bias and discrimination.
“We share the NCAA’s concern about the potential impact of the new law, and will be vigilant to ensure that our student-athletes, supporters, and indeed all citizens and visitors are treated fairly and with respect.”
Michael Schoenfeld, Vice President for Public Affairs and Government Relations
“As a university, we have a strong and enduring commitment to the values of tolerance, diversity and inclusion.
“We are a community that welcomes and celebrates the multitude of backgrounds, identities and perspectives. We encourage the vigorous debate about the intent and impact of this issue.”
Eli Capilouto, University President
“While there has been much discussion about the new law passed in Indiana, we hope the citizens and lawmakers of that state can reach a consensus on how to best welcome all people, regardless of background.
“Here at MSU, we are guided by values embedded in our rich heritage as a leading land-grant university. Inclusion is foremost among our values — treating all members of the community with fairness and dignity. ”
Lou Anna K. Simon, President
“Diversity and inclusion of all people are core principles at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
“The Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act mirrors laws in place in a number of states and at the federal level. But I take the concerns that have been raised very seriously.
“I look forward to a discussion with my Big Ten counterpart presidents and chancellors about the impact of the Indiana law.”
Rebecca Blank, Chancellor
The coaches of the Final Four teams also released a statement Wednesday regarding RFRA:
“We are aware of the recent actions in Indiana and have made a point to talk about this sensitive and important issue among ourselves and with our teams. Each of us strongly supports the positions of the NCAA and our respective institutions on this matter – that discrimination of any kind should not be tolerated. As a part of America’s higher education system, college basketball plays an important role in diversity, equality, fairness and inclusion, and will continue to do so in the future.”