Despite Repeated Inquiries, NCAA Remains Mum On Lia Thomas Controversy

Lia Thomas - NCAA

Despite Repeated Inquiries, NCAA Remains Mum On Lia Thomas Controversy

In recent days, both the Ivy League and the University of Pennsylvania have publicly supported Lia Thomas and her right to compete in women’s swimming events. However, the NCAA has so far been mum on the controversy surrounding Thomas. The organization has released no statement in support of Thomas or in affirmation of its rule which allows transgender athletes to compete in the female category after undergoing one year of hormone therapy.

The NCAA also did not respond to multiple inquiries from Swimming World, including by email, telephone and a form on the official NCAA website, relating to Thomas. Swimming World asked whether the NCAA was considering making changes to its policy covering transgender athletes and whether the organization still considers one year of hormone therapy sufficient for an athlete to compete as a female if she has undergone male puberty. That rule instituted by the NCAA is based on science more than 10 years old. Additionally, we asked for the NCAA to respond to claims of unfairness when Thomas races in women’s events and also for comment on reports that Penn swimmers and parents have pushed back on Thomas’ participation in women’s racing.

Thomas currently ranks first in the nation in the women’s 500 freestyle and 200 freestyle, and she competed in her final home meet at Penn on Saturday, where she won both of her main events while finishing sixth in the 100 free. Thomas is expected to headline the women’s Ivy League Championships next month, and she is already automatically qualified for the NCAA Championships in Atlanta in March. This will be her first collegiate championship season since transitioning.

In a statement Friday, the Ivy League “reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to providing an inclusive environment for all student-athletes while condemning transphobia and discrimination in any form.” Penn likewise declared it was “committed to be a welcoming and inclusive environment for all our student-athletes, coaches and staff and we hold true to that commitment today and in the future.” Several top American swimmers have also weighed in on the situation, with 2021 Olympian Erika Brown claiming that Thomas competing created an unfair playing field while 2016 Olympian Jacob Pebley urged consideration of mental health as he spoke out in support of Thomas.

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Rev
10 months ago

It is not a Lia Thomas issue, but a transgender rules issue. For those who want to have a rule change regarding Transgender athletes, it does not help to put a headline stating it is a Lia Thomas issue. That appears to be attacking the person, not the rule.
If Paralympics can come up with a multitude of competition categories, it seems it should not be too difficult to come up with a transgender competition category that allows men to compete with men, women to compete with women and transgender athletes to compete with transgender athletes. They just want to compete.

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Ms.T
10 months ago
Reply to  Rev

Well if you are going there then we might as well get started making things FAIR.

1. Every woman must be of the same height and same age.
2. Every woman must have the same leg length, same arm length, same width of the hands, same shoe size and the same body fat percentage.
3. Breast size must be the same.
4. Swimmer’s must be the same age.

Of course we can get even more picky about what gives an individual an advantage if that is the path you want to take.

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pyrrhon
10 months ago
Reply to  Ms.T

Take a second a think on why we separate men and women competition in sports.
Jesus christ, the people in the US are really brainwashed by marxism propaganda.

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Dusty
8 months ago
Reply to  Ms.T

Spoken like a person who knows absolutely nothing about female anatomy and physiology. If we’re going to start somewhere, lets begin on the inside of the body. We’ll start with hearts, because men have bigger hearts which allow them to pump more oxygen through them faster, then we’ll move to lungs, since men have greater lung capacity, then we’ll move to bones, men have bigger and stronger bones, larger hands and feet, men also are able to sweat faster, giving them an advantage to be able to cool off quicker and thus making a woman more prone to overheating, next we’ll do muscles where men are genetically designed to have bigger and more muscles, in addition those muscles are concentrated in the upper half of the body, whereas as women are stronger in the hips down, and then we’ll move to the endocrine system, which cannot be changed. A woman’s body goes through hormonal changes throughout the month that resemble a 6 Flags Great Adventure roller coaster, whereas men have hormone that are pretty much the same all the time. Women are most like a man when they are on their cycle, which gives them a short window of a few days to be most like a man. So, now that we got the stuff that matters out of the way, lets talk about why you’re here trying to ruin women’s sports.

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Neal Bosshardt
10 months ago

The logical solution is to have a separate category for transgender people. That is the only way to have a fair playing field for all athletes and it is unreasonable to do.

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Chuck
10 months ago

The NCAA and its policy makers are a bunch of brainless cowards. If they are unable to see the inevitable unraveling of women’s athletics in general, and more specifically in women’s collegiate swimming, by so-called trans-women, they deserve neither our respect, nor the right to the decision making positions they hold.
This whole Lia Thomas matter could well be the first nail being driven into the NCAA’s coffin.

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Cynthia Hyland
7 months ago

The issue needs to be looked at logically and fairly. I was extremely talented as a child and was a top ten age group swimmer. I set all of the Kentucky butterfly records before Mary T came along. Unfortunately for me, as I entered puberty, I did not get the kind of strength or large feet that some other women did. Life is not fair, but these kinds of biological inequities, as well as financial/coaching/facilities/etc., will always exist in sports. What we cannot have is a situation where someone who is not gifted or talented is able to excel simply because of a decision to transition from a man to a woman. There are THOUSANDS of men throughout the last year who swam as well as Lia Thomas. In fact, the 1:43 in the 200 yard free is two seconds slower than it would take to make the historical top 100 times in USA swimming in the 13-14 boys age group. Please think about that for a minute. It means that elite female athletes cannot even compete with boys starting puberty, let alone those who have finished growing. If we allow this situation to endure, then it will not be long before talented men transition and every state and national female swimming record is broken. Like many, I wish Lia Thomas a good life. If she were being discriminated in the workplace, in housing, in healthcare, or any other right to belong I would be there fighting for her. But in this instance, the NCAA has made a terrible mistake. There is another, scarier side to this also. Where does it end? I left swimming because my college coach made me pick between staying in the pool and lightning overhead. Yes, it is as terrible as it sounds. I also swam at a time where illegal doping changed the swimming landscape. Do not think for a minute that if this continues, there won’t be people thinking of ways to exploit the system and its athletes.