NCAA punts on transgender athlete policy

The NCAA updated its policy for transgender athletes in college sports.

The updated guidelines state that the issue of men playing in women's sports, for example, will be decided on a 'sport-by-sport' basis.

Yesterday, the NCAA updated its transgender policy guidelines to a “sport-by-sport” approach.

”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,” the organization stated in its Jan. 19 announcement. 

Georgetown University president John DeGioia, who also serves as NCAA’s board chairman, said in a statement Wednesday, “We are steadfast in our support of transgender student-athletes and the fostering of fairness across college sports.”

The new policy requires transgender student-athletes to document “sport-specific testosterone levels beginning four weeks before their sport’s championship selections.” 

[RELATED: Female swimmers discuss ‘unfair’ biological disadvantages compared to Lia Thomas, UPenn’s male swimmer on women’s team]

The new policy comes on the heels of growing controversy surrounding men competing in women’s sports. 

Most notably has been trans swimmer Lia Thomas, a man who took first place in two events at a January 8 swim meet hosted by the University of Pennsylvania, smashing women’s swimming records along the way.

To date, the only person to defeat Lia Thomas in a women’s swimming race was another trans-athlete Iszac Henig, who identifies as male. However, it was uncovered by The Daily Wire yesterday that Thomas reportedly colluded with Henig to lose the race. 

Campus Reform has reported on lawsuits and legal actions over transgender athletes’ eligibility to play on opposite-sex teams. 

In 2020, the American Civil Liberties Union and Legal Voice filed a lawsuit in response to Idaho Gov. Brad Little’s ban on men competing in women’s sports. 

Following the lawsuit, two female track athletes from the University of Idaho urged the federal judge overseeing the case to dismiss it.

[RELATED: A look at 5 transgender college sports controversies]

More recently, the Biden administration announced last spring that it would interpret Title IX as applying gender identity. 

Biden’s Department of Education based its notice of interpretation on the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County. 

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