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NCAA Reaffirms Commitment to Gender Equity

Andy Berg

The NCAA Board of Governors on Tuesday discussed three issues of importance to college sports: the gender equity review of NCAA championships by Kaplan, Hecker & Fink LLP, transgender athlete participation in NCAA championships, and the Association's sexual violence policy.

The board received the first report from Kaplan, Hecker & Fink's gender equity review, which had a specific focus on women's and men's basketball. A future report will examine other NCAA championships. The board issued a statement regarding the report earlier Tuesday.

"The NCAA Board of Governors is wholly committed to an equitable experience among its championships,” the board wrote in its statement on the report. “We know that has not always been the case and the instance of the Division I Women's Basketball Championship is an important impetus for us to improve our championship experience so it is not repeated.”

The board also reaffirmed the association's policy to provide fair and nondiscriminatory championship opportunities to all student-athletes, including transgender college athletes. The NCAA said it intends to conduct its championships as they were awarded but will require all hosts to reaffirm their commitment to ensure a nondiscriminatory and safe environment for all college athletes per their host agreement. Any host who cannot commit to the nondiscrimination policy should contact the NCAA immediately. Future championship hosts also must commit to the nondiscrimination policy, as they have in the past.

The NCAA said its long-standing association-wide policy provides an inclusive path for transgender participation. The policy was developed with input from the medical and higher education communities, inclusion thought leaders and college athletes.

The board also received an annual report of members who are compliant with the NCAA Sexual Violence Policy. The annual attestation period runs from March 1 to May 15.

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