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WAC, CSUB don't expect any dramatic effects to in-conference travel from California
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WAC, CSUB don't expect any dramatic effects to in-conference travel from California
Quote:LAS CRUCES – The Western Athletic Conference and California State University, Bakersfield do not expect any dramatic impacts to in-conference travel from the state of California’s recent travel ban to Texas.

California has blocked state-funded travel to eight states with laws that it views are discriminatory against the LGBT community. Texas was added to that list in late June after Texas governor Greg Abbott signed law HB 3859, which allows child welfare providers to deny adoptions and services to children and parents based on “sincerely held religious beliefs.” When announcing the travel ban, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said Texas' law "allows foster care agencies to discriminate against children in foster care and potentially disqualify LGBT families from the state's foster and adoption system."

Kansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky and South Dakota are the other states banned for state-funded travel by California.

It’s still unclear on how this travel could affect athletic teams' travel as a whole. Cal State Bakersfield will routinely travel to Texas for conference games against the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), as well as some WAC championship events held in Texas.

Both the WAC and CSUB are still gathering information on the travel ban, but one of the exemptions to the travel ban is travel related to contracts signed before June 7, 2017, which CSUB.

“I do agree that ... because of the contract obligation that we have with the conference, I believe that fits under one of the exemptions,” CSUB Athletic Director Kenneth “Ziggy” Siegfried said. “Having said that, I am still waiting for that final word from our CSU system just to further explain a couple of things. Because there are some questions that we still have about it.

“I feel very confident … that in conference we will be OK traveling to UTRGV.”

California State University, Sacramento, a WAC affiliate member for baseball that is known as Sacramento State for athletics, would also be subject to the travel ban, but like CSUB, its contract with the WAC would likely fall under one of the exemptions. California Baptist University, which is set to join the league for the 2018-19 athletic year, is a private school and is not subject to the travel ban.

When CSUB plays at New Mexico State, it routinely flies to El Paso and buses to Las Cruces. But it’s unclear if CSUB's travel to NMSU could be affected since the team would technically be traveling to New Mexico for an event.

WAC Commissioner Jeff Hurd has had conversations with Bakersfield about the ban and said the conference is monitoring it. But Hurd added it’s a little too early to be too definitive on the impact it is going to have.

“In our case with Bakersfield, they as the institution, they are still in the gathering information, getting interpretations on what can and cannot be done,” Hurd said. “And that’s going to take a little bit of time.

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07-14-2017 05:09 PM
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