Report: Both Summit League and the NCAA have ‘serious problems hosting events in South Dakota’

KELOLAND.com Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Negotiations and discussions are still on-going between NCAA officials, Summit League officials and community leaders in South Dakota about any possible impacts from House Bill 1217 and Gov. Kristi Noem’s Executive Order 2021-05. 

During a Sioux Falls School Board working session in early June, board member Nan Baker presented a committee report from the Sioux Falls Sports Authority. You can watch the report in the video above.

Baker said Summit League university presidents were meeting June 9 to discuss the contract for the Summit League to stay in Sioux Falls. She reported the Sioux Falls Sports Authority remained in negotiations with all the stakeholders. At the end of March, the Sioux Falls Sports Authority said there had been no impact on sporting events previously scheduled.

Thomas Lee, Executive Director of the Sioux Falls Sports Authority, confirmed the 2022 tournaments will take place March 5-8 at the PREMIER Center. He said the Sioux Falls Sports Authority continues to work on extending the current contract with the Summit League. He added no future events have been impacted.

On Monday, the Sanford Pentagon announced a four-team Crossover Classic set for Nov. 22-24 involving Division I men’s basketball teams South Dakota State, George Mason, Nevada and Washington.

Both school leaders and the Sioux Falls Sports Authority “continue to monitor the fairness in women’s sport issue that came up with House Bill 1217,” Baker said.  

She reported lawyers for the Sioux Falls Sports Authority called the legislation “poorly written due to a host of legal issues that would come up.” 

Both “the Summit League and the NCAA have serious problems hosting events in South Dakota because it is not in alignment with their policies,” Baker said.

She noted Gov. Noem’s style-and-form veto of HB 1217 eliminated college athletes, but it still had discriminatory language around K-12 athletes.

According the Sioux Falls Sports Authority website, the 2022 Summit League men’s and women’s basketball championships are scheduled to be held Saturday, March 5th through Tuesday, March 8th at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center. 

Along with the Summit League basketball tournaments, Sioux Falls is slated to host the Division I men’s hockey regional tournament in 2024 and 2026. In 2024, Sioux Falls will host the NCAA Division II volleyball championship and in 2026, Sioux Falls will host the NCAA DII wrestling championship.

KELOLAND News is reaching out to both the Summit League and the Sioux Falls Sports Authority about the future of the basketball tournaments and other collegiate events in the state. You can find that story online and on-air.

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