State travel ban to North Carolina forces SUNY Cortland swimmer to adjust travel plans

CORTLAND, N.Y. — A SUNY Cortland swimmer training to compete in the NCAA Division III Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina, will be forced to make hotel accommodations out-of-state due to an executive order from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo that forbids state-sponsored travel to North Carolina.

Three years ago, Gov. Cuomo signed an executive order banning all state-sponsored, non-essential travel to North Carolina in response to that state's passage of a "bathroom bill," which requires transgender people to use bathrooms that correspond with their sex at birth.

For junior Kelly Davey, that means she and swim coach Brian Tobin will be staying in Danville, V.A., about a one-hour drive from Greensboro. Tobin and Davey are not allowed to fly into North Carolina or rent a car in that state, Tobin said. Davey and about a dozen other qualified athletes from SUNY Brockport and SUNY Geneseo are in the same position.

"It's definitely a hoop to jump through, but nothing is going to stop me from swimming and doing my best," Davey said. "It's not a disadvantage for me, it's just something to overcome."

Davey has broken five school swim records, including the women's 50-meter, 100-meter, 200-meter, medley relay, and 100-backstroke.

Some state lawmakers, including State Sen. James Seward, are urging Gov. Cuomo to lift the ban in light of the location of the NCAA Tournament.