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BU cancels Dempsey's, staff's trip to Final Four

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In response to the State of Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has issued travel restrictions to state employees, limiting and non-essential travel to Indiana. With this weekend's NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four set to take place in Indianapolis, Binghamton University has canceled Tommy Dempsey's and his staff's trip to the event.

Coaches from Division I programs usually attend the Final Four as a way to celebrate the end of the season. Working for a SUNY school, Dempsey and the other BU coaches are state employees and thus, restricted from travelling to Indiana.

Binghamton University released the following statement Wednesday evening:

"Binghamton University coaches will not travel to Indiana for the Final Four this week.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Tuesday that he is restricting travel by state workers to Indiana amid the rising controversy over that state’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

'In support of Gov. Cuomo's travel ban to the state of Indiana, I and other members of the Binghamton men's basketball staff will not travel to Indianapolis for the NCAA Final Four and events surrounding it,' said Binghamton Basketball Coach Tommy Dempsey.

Cuomo’s executive order directs all state government-related entities to review requests for state-funded travel to Indiana and ban non-essential travel by state workers to the state. Travel for law enforcement or health-related matters are exempt. Coaches fall within this order and therefore Binghamton will not be travelling to Indiana at this time.

Binghamton is committed to the idea of respect for human diversity in our learning and working environments and to creating an atmosphere where prejudice, harassment and discrimination are unacceptable."


SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher said that the travel ban will carry throughout the rest of the SUNY system.

As of Wednesday night, the only other SUNY school to announce that their coaches would not attend the final four was Stony Brook. No comment has been made from UAlbany or Buffalo.