NAIA for Small Colleges BANS Transgender Women From Competing in Female Sports

April 8th, 2024 2:55 PM

We’ll take a win when we can get it. 

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), which many smaller schools are part of, announced Monday that only biological women will be allowed to compete in women’s sports.

CBS Sports reported the news Monday afternoon and indicated that the “NAIA’s Council of Presidents approved the policy in a 20-0 vote” following a survey from December that indicated “widespread support for the move.”

The NAIA is a national athletic governing body for 249 colleges across the country who aren’t part of the NCAA’s three divisions. NAIA covers mostly private schools.

This is huge for protecting both fairness and safety in schools, and NAIA president Jim Carr agreed with that sentiment. “For us, we believed our first responsibility was to create fairness and competition in the NAIA. ... We also think it aligns with the reasons Title IX was created. You're allowed to have separate but equal opportunities for women to compete.”

Carr pointed out that the decision doesn’t stop anyone from playing in the men's category as that is open to anyone, regardless of sex or gender identity. That makes sense since the men who want to compete in the women’s categories are often the ones who couldn’t rank in the men’s category. I mean look at Penn State’s Lia Thomas who failed epically as Richard Thomas but became a champion when competing against girls.

NAIA Council of Presidents chair and St. Ambrose University president Amy Novak said, “With this policy, the NAIA has made its best effort to allow for the inclusion of transgender athletes in any way which does not impact the competitive fairness of women's sports. Our priority is to protect the integrity of women's athletics and allow them equal opportunity to succeed.”

As CBS News pointed out, the “NAIA is believed to be the first national college governing body to mandate that athletes compete according to assigned sex at birth.”

Hopefully the NCAA follows the steps of the NAIA and recognizes how unfair and unsafe it is to have biological men in women’s sports.