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Rice Swim Coach Speaks Out Against Transgender Lia Thomas Situation

Something rather interesting happened last week when Rice swim coach Seth Huston openly spoke out on the Lia Thomas transgender swimmer story that has dominated collegiate swimming since early December when Thomas made headlines for smashing biological female records.

In an interview with Swimswam.com, Huston openly criticized the NCAA and was even quoted as saying he thinks it’s “black and white right now, you compete as what you were biologically born until we get to the point where we’ve expanded opportunities, you know for instance, in transgender.”

And the world didn’t end over Huston’s comments. He wasn’t fired and his bio hasn’t been scrubbed from the Rice swimming site.

While Thomas’ teammates have spoken to OutKick anonymously to protect themselves from attacks, Huston, who is in his 19th season at Rice, is believed to be the first coach to put his name on quotes associated with the Thomas controversy.

Rice swim coach Lia Thomas
Rice swim coach Seth Huston; Penn swimmer Lia Thomas

The four-time Conference USA Coach of the Year told Swimswam, in no certain terms, that the NCAA is full of cowards who refuse to take a stand. Last week, the NCAA Board of Directors kicked the transgender issue down the road for governing boards to deal with.

“The NCAA once again has proven that it is not leading. It is not really even following,” Huston told Swimswam. “The NCAA governance has become a bystander waiting for other organizations to make tough decisions. They hoped NIL would continue to be suppressed and now they are scrambling to make it fit their construct. Now they sit on the sidelines with Transgender issues.

“The [College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America] is right in being frustrated with NCAA Leadership or lack thereof, but wrong to suggest Lia compete at NCAAs.”

According to Swimswam, Huston flat-out says Thomas shouldn’t be allowed to compete in the women’s division at the NCAA Championships in March.

“I respect Lia Thomas, her transition, and all of that,” he said. “And I am completely OK with (her having) the opportunity to compete. Because that would be a Title IX issue.

“But I think another thing within Title IX is that we have to be given time to accommodate, I guess you could say. Whether that is creating a third division, a transgender division, or whatever.”

Keep in mind, Huston is a member of CSCAA’s “100 Greatest Coaches” list. This is an influential voice within the collegiate industry and he’s saying Thomas shouldn’t be allowed to compete against — and likely beat — biological women at the NCAA Championships.

Roger Brooks, who serves as senior counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, told OutKick that he believes universities could ultimately pay the price in court over Title IX legalities dealing with transgender athletes taking away opportunities from female competitors.

Lia Thomas Swimsuit Penn Transgender swimmer
Lia Thomas on the pool deck during a tri-meet against Dartmouth and Yale / via Fox News Digital

“I do think colleges like the University of Pennsylvania that are letting this happen are violating Title IX and they should be held accountable and I do think there are good arguments that the NCAA itself is essentially an agent of its member colleges and is violating Title IX,” Brooks noted. “The law is not being complied with and we hope that in due course we’ll be able to correct that.”

Brooks also believes this fight will lead to a showdown in the Supreme Court.

“I think the answer to that is ‘yes,’” he said, adding that the court cases are mounting and it’s likely there will be more cases to come. “The law is not fast but within the next couple of years, we’ll see a case about this issue in front of the Supreme Court.”

But that will not come before March and the NCAA Championships.

For something to change between now and then, Brooks believes it’s going to take a groundswell of voices rising up to say it’s wrong for Thomas to race against biological females for NCAA titles.

“I’m encouraged what I’m hearing publicly from voices that nobody can accuse of being transphobic,” Brooks said.

So far it’s hard to find anyone accusing Rice swim coach Seth Huston of being transphobic and he’s on record saying Thomas shouldn’t be in that pool racing women in March.

Penn’s swim season continues Friday against West Chester. It will be Penn’s final meet of the year before the Ivy League Championships and Thomas’ trip to the NCAA Championships.

Written by Joe Kinsey

I'm an Ohio guy, born in Dayton, who roots for Ohio State and can handle you guys destroying the Buckeyes, Urban Meyer and everything associated with Columbus.

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