NCAA announces new guidelines for trans athletes that ‘Strengthens the Relationship’ between college sports and Olympics

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The NCAA Board of Governors approved a sport by-sport approach to allow transgender athletes compete. This is in accordance with the U.S. Olympic Committees and International Olympic Committees. The Associated Press reported.

Under these new guidelines, transgender participation in a sport will be decided by said sport’s national governing body. The NCAA committee will make a recommendation to the Board regarding transgender athletes’ participation.

If the sport doesn’t have a governing body it would be monitored by their international federation policy. This policy was established. If there is not an international federation policy in place, then the IOC policies criteria will be applied.

According to a recent NCAA statement, the decision was made to ensure consistency between Olympic and collegiate sports.

“Approximately 80% of U.S. Olympians are either current or former college athletes,”In a statement, Mark Emmert, President of the NCAA, said. “This policy alignment provides consistency and further strengthens the relationship between college sports and the U.S. Olympics.”

In the event that this policy change causes a transgender student athlete to lose eligibility to compete, but they meet the NCAA’s new guidelines, the Board of Governors suggested the NCAA divisions leave room for additional eligibility. 

“We are steadfast in our support of transgender student-athletes and the fostering of fairness across college sports,”John DeGioia of Georgetown said this in a press release. “It is important that NCAA member schools, conferences and college athletes compete in an inclusive, fair, safe and respectful environment and can move forward with a clear understanding of the new policy.”

Some are confused, others are disappointed by the new guideline changes.  

“After ‘monitoring the situation’ around anti-trans sports bills & their own calls for more research before even considering updating VERY out-of-date language in the 2010 policy, NCAA whipped up a ridiculously complex policy that will prove impossible for them to follow,”Chris Mosier is a transgender advocate and athlete Tweeted