HB2 bill leaves a hole in Duke's basketball schedule

Albany cancelled its visit to Duke next November (AP)
Albany cancelled its visit to Duke next November (AP)

When New York governor Andrew Cuomo banned all state-funded non-essential travel to North Carolina earlier this year, his decision had an unforeseen impact on the University of Albany basketball program.

The Great Danes have been forced to cancel their previously scheduled Nov. 12 road game at Duke.

Cuomo’s travel ban came in response to the North Carolina General Assembly passing House Bill 2 in March. HB2 is best known for requiring transgender people to use public restrooms corresponding with their birth gender and for limiting the ability of employees to sue for discrimination or wrongful termination.

Albany, Buffalo, Binghamton and Stony Brook are the four Division I basketball programs affected by Cuomo’s travel ban. Other New York schools like St. John’s and Syracuse do not have to comply with Cuomo’s stance because they’re private schools. Syracuse is scheduled to visit North Carolina and North Carolina State during ACC play next season.

In response to Albany cancelling its game at Duke, Blue Devils athletic director Kevin White expressed understanding. White told ESPN.com on Thursday, “It’s most unfortunate. As an institution, if not personally, we have gone on the record indicating that our state position on this (HB2) is very troubling, if not embarrassing.”

Duke should have little trouble replacing Albany on its schedule, but the real losers here are the Great Danes. They miss out on a chance to play at famed Cameron Indoor Stadium against a Duke team likely to begin next season ranked No. 1 in the nation.

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Jeff Eisenberg is the editor of The Dagger on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at daggerblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!