NCAA Final Four Comes to Dallas, But Concern Over Future Tournaments

The NCAA Women's Final Four tips off Friday in Dallas, and there is plenty of excitement among the fans for a great weekend.

"You get to see a new area, new city, meet people, and root for your team," said Debbie Yahne, who traveled to Texas from Connecticut.

It is also the end of a long journey for organizers.

"We have been working on this from a local organizing standpoint for a good two years," said Monica Paul, executive director of the Dallas Sports Commission.

But with all the excitement, there is also concern about future NCAA play in Texas.

"All we have to go on at this point is the precedent that has been set in North Carolina, and this is an important time for us. Obviously we want this week to be focused on women's basketball and the Final Four, but SB 6 is serious for us," Paul said.

Senate Bill 6 is the Texas Privacy Act, a so-called "bathroom bill." The legislation says students must use the bathrooms that match the gender on their birth certificates. The same rule would apply to Texans in public buildings.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is a proponent of the bill, which has already passed the Texas Senate.

"It is common courtesy, it is common decency, and it's public safety," Patrick said in a recent interview with NBC 5.

When North Carolina passed its version of a bathroom bill, the NCAA pulled its tournaments and other events from the state.

"I am concerned, based on the precedent that has been set in North Carolina, that should SB 6 pass we will not be considered for the next bid cycle and awarding of NCAA bids," Paul said.

Dallas is set to host the NCAA men's basketball tournament first and second round games next year, so the Dallas Sports Commission will be watching the legislature closely.

The bill is now in the House, but is not yet scheduled for a hearing.

NBC 5 reached out to the NCAA, and was told the NCAA does not comment on pending legislation.

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