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Boycott The Final Four? It's Time For Universities To Up The Ante In Indiana [BLOG]

By Tom Millikan

I thought long and hard before writing this. Is my idea crazy? Is it too bold? Is it unrealistic? I would honestly answer yes to all three questions. However, sometimes we must be crazy, bold and unrealistic if we REALLY want change.

By now I'm sure most of you are familiar with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act controversy that is swirling around Indianapolis and the Final Four. This morning the Indianapolis Star wrote a fantastic editorial citing why Indiana Governor Mike Pence needs to "Fix This Now."

I couldn't agree more. The law can exist, but it needs a provision like many other states have that protects anybody against discrimination based on a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.

Discrimination is unacceptable in the United States. Many pundits opposed to the RFRA are motivated by money. They don't want the state of Indiana to be hurt economically. I don't care about the money. It is wrong to discriminate.

The U.S. Constitution begins with "We The People." Can we finally start being "We"? We need to unite against discrimination.

Pressure by media and activists simply isn't working. Gov. Pence continues to spin his song and dance biding time until the firestorm passes after the National Championship Game. Don't let him bide time. Don't let him off the hook. I have a brash bold idea on how to "Fix This Now."

I would like to see Michigan State University, Duke University, the University of Kentucky and the University of Wisconsin boycott the Final Four if Indiana doesn't fix this law by Saturday. They should threaten it now because I guarantee Gov. Pence would pull a 180 and we'd still be watching hoops come Saturday night.

Is it unrealistic? Is it too bold? Maybe, if you're an obtuse fool. Imagine the shock waves it would send throughout the country if one of these so-called institutions stood up and made life larger than basketball; made life larger than money.

I challenge the Final Four schools to use their power. Tom Izzo do the right thing. Coach K do the right thing. Bo Ryan do the right thing. Maybe even John Calipari has it in his heart to do the right thing. If the four of you are truly against discrimination, then unite, become "We" and teach your student athletes a lesson they'll learn for a lifetime.

If Gov. Pence wouldn't cave to that pressure, then let him be the fool he appears to be now. We can find 94 feet in some other state and settle the Final Four that way.

I don't care about your personal beliefs about homosexuality. If you don't care for the gay lifestyle, fine! If you don't believe in gay marriage, fine! If you are tired of all the 'gay talk', fine! But the one thing "We" can't be fine with is discrimination in the United States. Yes, it's that black and white of an issue.

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