Bill to require UNC, NC State to play each other, other in-state schools won't advance, NC House Speaker says

Bill to require UNC, NC State to play each other, other in-state schools won’t advance, NC House Speaker says

Proposed legislation that would require University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University to play each other and other in-state public universities in football and basketball will not advance any further, House Speaker Tim Moore said Thursday.

“It’s had the hearing it will have,” Moore said. “It had a committee hearing. I told them they could hear it in committee, but it won’t come to the floor.”

Moore’s comment comes after the House committee on universities advanced the bill. The bill would require UNC and NC State to play each other annually in football and men’s and women’s basketball, a nod to potential conference realignment that could impact the ACC, the schools’ long-time conference.

The legislation would also require the two schools to play one of Appalachian State, East Carolina and UNC-Charlotte annually and to play each of them home and away over a six-year period in football and men’s and women’s basketball.

“The kids want to play these games, the fans want to see these games,” said Rep. David Willis, a Union County Republican and sponsor of the bill. “These local games drive a lot more attendance and therefore a lot more dollars.”

Willis, who spoke to WRAL moments before Moore told reporters the bill would not advance, said he planned to move the bill and have it pass this session.

“We would like this to be ongoing and continuous so that we don’t get this series of games and the next AD or whoever was involved at that point at time just kind of leaves it,” said Willis, an App State graduate.

NC State had home-and-home series scheduled with App State, Charlotte and ECU between 2025 and 2031. But NC State will not play App State as scheduled in 2025 after adding a non-conference game with ACC rival Virginia.

“I’d be lying if I didn’t say it didn’t play a little bit of a role,” Willis said. “But this started before that. It comes back to the long-term sustainability of all our athletic programs.”