UCLA basketball is facing Kentucky in the Sweet 16 tonight in Memphis, Tennessee. Eyebrows were raised when the trip to Tennessee was justified despite a state law that prohibits California tax-supported individuals from traveling to certain states blackballed because those states passed laws tabbed discriminatory by California politicians.

Tennessee has a law that allows therapists to deny service to gay and transgender clients.

While the state’s public colleges, including UCLA, have declared they will not schedule games in blackballed states (a negotiation between UC Berkeley and Kansas basketball was ended because Cal refused to play in Kansas), UCLA made a quick pivot to play in the Sweet 16. The school decided post-season play is an exception.

To my knowledge there have been no protests on the UCLA campus against sending the school’s basketball team to a California legislature-designated discriminatory state.

Exceptions seem to favor the sports world. Remember the efforts to fast-track football stadiums in the Los Angeles area a few years ago that had the legislature, which has constantly stalled needed change to CEQA laws, do an end run around environmental review for the football stadium using a classic “gut-and-amend” bill in the closing hours of a legislative session?

Trying to slip past laws is not confined to the sports world. Recently, the Legislative Analyst noticed that the governor was trying to ignore the strictures of the Gann Spending Limit by including in his budget $22 billion of “nowhere money.” The LAO said the tax revenue should be applied to one of the required state or local government spending  limits but ended up “nowhere” in relation to the limits in the governor’s proposal.

Of course, ignoring laws has become a major issue on the federal level with the debate over illegal immigration and other issues. Historian Victor Davis Hanson wrote on the subject of ignoring laws here. See if you agree.

In the meantime, Go Bruins!