COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The NCAA will end a nearly 15-year ban on South Carolina hosting sanctioned championship events following the decision to remove the Confederate flag from the state's capitol grounds.

Gov. Nikki Haley signed the legislation Thursday.

Within minutes of announcement, NCAA Board of Governors Chairman Kirk Schulz issued a statement commending South Carolina's lawmakers for taking the action. The ban applied to all championship events with pre-determined host sites, such as the men's basketball tournament. Events that were assigned to home teams, such as the baseball tournament, were exempt from the ban.

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