The NCAA Board of Governors approved the new guidelines Wednesday. Transgender participation in each sport will be determined according to the policy for that sport's national body. This policy is subject to review by an NCAA committee and recommendation to the Board of Governors.
If there is no national governing board, the sport's international policy for federation would be in effect. If there is no international policy for federation, the IOC policies would be applied.
NCAA President Mark Emmert stated in a statement that approximately 80% of U.S. Olympians were either former or current college athletes. This policy alignment ensures consistency and strengthens the relationship between college sport and the U.S. Olympics.
The NCAA policy goes into effect immediately and will be in effect starting with the 2022 winter championships.
When Penn swimmer Lia Thomas set new records, NCAA rules regarding transgender athletes were brought back to the forefront. After transitioning, she was on the men's squad her first three years. Now, she is competing for women's teams.
The Board of Governors suggests that NCAA divisions permit additional eligibility for transgender student athletes who lose eligibility due to the policy change. This flexibility is granted if they comply with the NCAA's updated guidelines.
Georgetown President John DeGioia stated in a release that "We are steadfastly in our support for transgender student athletes and the fostering fairness across college sports." "It is vital that NCAA member schools, conferences, and college athletes compete within an inclusive, fair and safe environment. They can also understand the new policy and be able to move forward."