After the passage of Assembly Bill 1887 in May of this year, the future of Cal football's scheduled game with the University of North Carolina in 2017 in Chapel Hill, NC next season seemed murky. However, the athletic department released a statement today signaling its intention to move forward with the game next season.
The statement released today reads as follows:
"Cal Athletics has a long history of commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion in both participation and employment in all of our daily activities and events. Supporting a welcoming environment is an essential part of the fabric of our department as we strive to promote the principles of tolerance and respect for all.
"Assembly Bill 1887 does provide an exception in order to meet contractual obligations that were incurred before Jan. 1, 2017, and Cal Athletics signed its contract to play a home-and-home series with the University of North Carolina in May of 2014, well before the state of North Carolina enacted current law. Our intent is to fulfill the contract to play our scheduled game at North Carolina on Sept. 2, 2017, with the Tar Heels visiting Berkeley for the 2018 season."
AB 1887 is a bill presented by Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Silicon Valley) that would ban state-funded travel to states that are seen to discriminate against LGBT individuals. Assembly Bill 1887 passed on a bi-partisan 54-21 vote.
The bill would prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars to fund travel to states like North Carolina and other states that have enacted laws that sanction or require discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
The UNC game is part of what is sure to be one of the nation's toughest schedules in 2017, with Cal scheduled to play ACC power North Carolina as well as SEC program Ole Miss, who has averaged nine wins a season over the past three years. The final preseason contest will be a home game against Weber State.
In contrast, BCS playoff contender Washington will play it's fourth straight season against lightweight non-conference opponents next year, playing Rutgers, Montana and Fresno State, who have a combined 9-24 record this season.
The Bears will finish out their regular season schedule this Saturday in a 4 pm matchup with UCLA on ESPN2.