ACC headquarters should remain in North Carolina

Wake Forest administrators should oppose moving the conference’s headquarters to Florida


Courtesy of the Greensboro News and Record

The ACC is currently headquartered in Greensboro.

Editorial Staff, Editorial Staff

The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), to which Wake Forest belongs, will likely be moving its headquarters out of Greensboro, according to recent reporting. The same reporting also states that the ACC is considering moving to either Charlotte or Orlando, FL. We write in opposition to the latter.

We are taking a position on this because Wake Forest has power in this decision. President Susan Wente sits on the governing board that will be making this decision, according to Associate Athletic Director Will Pantages. 

We urge President Wente and representatives from all other ACC schools to reject a move to Florida. 

The ACC was founded in 1953 in Greensboro, and throughout its history, North Carolina has been at the center of the league. In addition to the fact that the ACC’s most-storied programs are in the Tar Heel State, it is also the geographical midpoint of a conference that spans from Chestnut Hill, MA to Miami, FL. The city of Charlotte hosts one of the league’s largest events: the ACC football championship game.

Further, a decision to move the ACC’s headquarters to Florida would signal that the conference condones Florida’s recent passage of a law restricting the teaching of gender and sexuality in schools, which many LGBTQ+ rights advocates have called repressive. 

In 2016, the ACC was faced with a similar issue. In the wake of HB2, a North Carolina bill that prevented transgender individuals from using the bathroom of their choice, the conference moved the ACC Championship Game in football to Florida.

Then-Commissioner of the ACC John Swofford said in a statement that “the ACC Council of Presidents made it clear that the core values of this league are of the utmost importance, and the opposition to any form of discrimination is paramount.”

Six years on from that decision, those core values should be upheld in deciding on a new location for its headquarters. While we hold no influence over the presidents of other institutions of the ACC, we can implore Wake Forest’s president to make the right choice and stick up for queer students.

In an era as dangerous for LGBTQ+ rights as this current one, a strong signal from Wake Forest that anti-gay and anti-trans legislation is unacceptable would go a long way. 

Correction: An earlier version of this editorial incorrectly stated that the ACC Tournament in men’s basketball took place in Charlotte.