NCAA threatens to pull championships from states that pass anti-trans bills

Florida is attempting to pass a bill that would force athletes to compete in sports in their biological sex

FILE - In this March 18, 2015, file photo, the NCAA logo is displayed at center court as work continues at The Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, for the NCAA college basketball tournament. A bill being introduced Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020, by four Democratic lawmakers would grant college athletes sweeping rights to compensation, including a share of the revenue generated by their sports, and create a federal commission on college athletics. The College Athletes Bill of Rights is sponsored by U.S. Senators Corey Booker (D-N.J.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.). If passed it could wreak havoc with the NCAA's ability to govern intercollegiate athletics, and the association's model for amateurism. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File) (Keith Srakocic, Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The NCAA is sending a message to states that vote to ban transgender athletes from competing in female sports.

Do it, and don’t expect college championships in your state.

The NCAA Board of Governors released that statement one day before the Florida House is scheduled to discuss House Bill 1475 on the special order calendar. HB 1475 would require “certain athletic teams or sports sponsored by certain educational institutions be designated on basis of students’ biological sex,” and prohibits sports tabbed as female to be open to male students.

“When determining where championships are held, NCAA policy directs that only locations where hosts can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination should be selected. We will continue to closely monitor these situations to determine whether NCAA championships can be conducted in ways that are welcoming and respectful of all participants,” the statement read.

A Senate version of the bill in Florida, introduced by Sen. Kelli Stargel, introduced a similar bill which would adopt methods similar to that of the International Olympic Committee. The IOC looks at an athlete who has transitioned from male to female and bases its eligibility decision on testosterone levels over a 12-month span.

Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee have passed laws this year that require athletes to compete in school sports according to their sex at birth. Idaho passed a groundbreaking law last year that required athletes to adhere to their sex at birth for determining male or female sports. That law has since been challenged and remains up in the air.

According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, nearly 50 bills have been introduced in 2021 that enforce some type of ban on transgender female athletes from playing sports.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.