ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — College championships may not be held in states that ban transgender girls from competing in women's sports, the National Collegiate Athletic Association Board of Governors said in a statement on Monday.
The NCAA says its policy would only allow it to hold championships where hosts can ensure an "environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination." Currently, the athletic association requires that transgender women take testosterone suppression treatment in order to compete in women's sports.
The New York Times reported, citing the ACLU, that at least 25 states, including Florida, have introduced bills that would ban transgender girls from participating in women's sports. Governors in Arkansas and Mississippi recently signed such legislation into law.
"Inclusion and fairness can coexist for all student-athletes, including transgender athletes, at all levels of sport," the Board of Governors' statement reads. "Our clear expectation as the Association’s top governing body is that all student-athletes will be treated with dignity and respect."
HB 1475, filed earlier this year by State Rep. Kaylee Tuck, R-Lake Placid, would be the reason Florida misses out on college championships if passed. The bill would require any dispute of a student's biological sex to be resolved by a health care provider by examinating "the student's reproductive anatomy."
Another bill, introduced by State Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, would allow transgender girls to participate in women's sports if they met the same testosterone standard of the Olympics.
In March, around 550 NCAA student-athletes penned a letter demanding the NCAA stop holding championships and events in states that have passed or considered passing laws banning transgender athletes from competing in school sports, Sports Illustrated reports.
In Tampa, there are a few NCAA events, including championships, that could be impacted by the news. They include:
- 2022: SEC Men's Basketball tournament
- 2023: NCAA D-I Men's Frozen Four/NCAA D-I Women's Volleyball Championship
- 2025: NCAA Women's D-I Final Four
- 2026: NCAA D-I Men's Basketball tournament first and second rounds
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