NCAA Board of Governors Updates Policy Regarding Transgender Athletes

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The NCAA Board of Governors decided on Wednesday that policy pertaining to the participation of transgender athletes will now differ based on each sport — either abiding by national policy or the International Olympic Committee’s governing bodies where applicable, as relayed by David Rieder at Swimming World.

“This policy alignment provides consistency and further strengthens the relationship between college sports and the U.S. Olympics,” responded NCAA President Mark Emmert, following the Governors’ decision.

According to the new updates:

Like the Olympics, the updated NCAA policy calls for transgender participation for each sport to be determined by the policy for the national governing body of that sport, subject to ongoing review and recommendation by the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports to the Board of Governors. If there is no NGB policy for a sport, that sport’s international federation policy would be followed. If there is no international federation policy, previously established IOC policy criteria would be followed.

The Board of Governors urged the divisions to provide flexibility to allow for additional eligibility if a transgender student-athlete loses eligibility based on the policy change provided they meet the newly adopted standards.

The policy is effective starting with the 2022 winter championships. Transgender student-athletes will need to document sport-specific testosterone levels beginning four weeks before their sport’s championship selections. Starting with the 2022-23 academic year, transgender student-athletes will need documented levels at the beginning of their season and a second documentation six months after the first. They will also need documented testosterone levels four weeks before championship selections. Full implementation would begin with the 2023-24 academic year.

via NCAA

A response has been expected by the NCAA over ongoing qualms related to a transgender “female” named Lia Thomas at the University of Pennsylvania participating in women’s collegiate swimming competitions and dramatically altering the outcomes. OutKick’s Joe Kinsey has covered this issue extensively.

Thomas, a male-to-female trans swimmer, has exhibited a significant advantage over his biologically female competition — breaking the women’s national 200 and 500-yard freestyle records — and spawning concerns over the future of women’s athletics.

The IOC ruling may affect the Thomas case in the NCAA by requiring trans female competitors in swimming to track “testosterone levels beginning four weeks before their sport’s championship selections.”

“It is unknown if Thomas would be able to adhere to this 10 nmol/L standard that could become the rule for transgender female seeking to compete in women’s swimming events on the college level,” added the Swimming World report.

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Written by Alejandro Avila


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  1. Here’s what I imagine the late great Keith Jackson would say on this call: Time is getting short for the NCAA to do something meaningful here and score late in the game. The NCAA is back to pass but there’s great pressure, the NCAA drops back and fumbles the buck, picks it back up, runs all over the field to avoid being sacked and passes the buck all the way across the field where it caught by the IOC. The longest screen pass play ever, but it went for zero yards and no points. The referees are now saying it was a backwards pass, so the NCAA actually lost yardage on this critical play. Whoa Nellie, that was quite an exciting play that resulted in nothing but look at the excitement over on the NCAA sidelines. High fives all over the place and jumping up and down thinking they’ve won a national championship

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