Christian schools nix NAIA boycott

Christian universities are saying no to efforts to promote a homosexual agenda through intercollegiate sports.

Oklahoma Wesleyan University, with campuses in Bartlesville and Tulsa, and College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri, have announced they will not participate in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) cross country championship after NAIA officials changed the venue from Charlotte, North Carolina.

The NAIA moved the championship in a protest against a state law in North Carolina that prohibits anyone from using a public bathroom that is not consistent with the gender on their birth certificates.

“How can the NAIA claim to be an organization that ‘champions character’ if its leadership so eagerly breaks its word and its contract with the state of North Carolina?” asked Dr. Everett Piper, president of OKWU. “And how can we claim to be an organization that supports women if our leadership is so willing to deny female athletes the right to have their own bathrooms, showers, toilet and lavatory? The NAIA’s disregard for such basic rights is sobering.”

Objecting to the NAIA’s decision to relocate its 2016 Cross Country National Championships from North Carolina, College of the Ozarks President Jerry C. Davis announced that if its cross country team qualifies for nationals, they will not be allowed to participate unless the championship is returned to Charlotte.

“It’s not the business of the NAIA to tell the citizens of North Carolina how to regulate their bathrooms, nor should athletes be political pawns,” Davis said. “This is another example of political correctness gone berserk and is a big mistake.

“We understand the athletic directors voted overwhelmingly to honor the NAIA’s commitment to keep the tournament in Charlotte. However, it is also our understanding the decision to take adverse action was made by an 11-9 vote of the Council of Presidents. It appears the Council has lost touch with its own administrators and no doubt much of the public at large.

“The NAIA’s important “Champions of Character” initiative is undermined when a small group of presidents don’t appear to adhere to the NAIA’s own statement of core values—which includes… ‘keeping commitments.’”

According to an NAIA press release, the NAIA Council of Presidents made this decision out of concern that the state’s HB2 legislation “creates an atmosphere where discrimination potentially exists for some NAIA student-athletes and personnel.”

It also states that the NAIA National Championships “must promote an inclusive atmosphere for all college athletes, coaches, administrators and fans.” There are no other NAIA championships scheduled to be held in North Carolina. The decision only affects the 2016 Cross Country National Championships and does not impact any current member institution or conference from maintaining previously scheduled events in North Carolina.

On September 26, the Council of Presidents for National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) disregarded a nearly unanimous recommendation of its board of commissioners and athletic directors and voted 11-9 to remove their national cross country championships from the state of North Carolina, Piper wrote in a statement on the OKWU website.

“Have these people lost all sense of academic integrity? Have they lost their minds?” Piper asked. “… my NAIA peers – in their sagely wisdom – seem determined to reject the very premise of Title IX that requires colleges and universities to differentiate the female student from the male student and to, thereby, give women the same access to programs as men. If we didn’t ‘discriminate’ in such a way, how in the world would it be possible to ever comply with Title IX?!

“… I don’t know what my peers were taught in their junior high biology classes, and I certainly have no idea what they are teaching today on their respective campuses, but at Oklahoma Wesleyan, we still believe in science. We, therefore, teach that male and female physiology is an objective reality and that there is little more empirically obvious than one’s sex.

“Shocking as it may sound to my presidential peers, Oklahoma Wesleyan University actually agrees with the state of North Carolina. We, too, think that women should be granted the privacy of having their own toilets. We believe female students should be respected and not insulted, demeaned, and ignored. We stand with women in their fight against the arrogance of college presidents and the delusions of the male libido. Women attending our university will not only have their own basketball and soccer teams, but they, likewise, will have their own restrooms, showers, dorms, sports, scholarships and programs. Women at this university will have their identity and their privacy acknowledged and respected.”