As state legislatures across the United States continue to legislate gender in sports, major businesses and governing bodies are also paying attention.

Clearly, the directive of the current administration in the White House disagrees with the anti-trans legislation and the NCAA is on the same page.

In response to the continued legislation making the rounds directed at restricting transgender athletes from participating in sports, the NCAA Board of Governors issued a statement on Monday.

The NCAA Board of Governors firmly and unequivocally supports the opportunity for transgender student-athletes to compete in college sports. This commitment is grounded in our values of inclusion and fair competition.

The NCAA has a long-standing policy that provides a more inclusive path for transgender participation in college sports. Our approach — which requires testosterone suppression treatment for transgender women to compete in women’s sports — embraces the evolving science on this issue and is anchored in participation policies of both the International Olympic Committee and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee. Inclusion and fairness can coexist for all student-athletes, including transgender athletes, at all levels of sport. Our clear expectation as the Association’s top governing body is that all student-athletes will be treated with dignity and respect. We are committed to ensuring that NCAA championships are open for all who earn the right to compete in them.

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.

So what does this mean for South Dakota and the future of NCAA events in the state?

This would include South Dakota if the Executive Order from Governor Kristi Noem holds and the state legislature was to enact a law moving forward. Many have argued this kind of legislation is unnecessary considering there has only been one transgender athlete to participate in high school sports over the last decade in South Dakota and the SDHSAA has opposed any new legislation saying their current policy works. That policy requires many steps for a transgender athlete to participate including the SDHSAA board approving the request. Furthermore, the economic impact is at the forefront with the Sioux Falls Sports Authority Executive Director Thomas Lee also echoing the SDHSAA and not only calling it a "human rights issue" but also a tough blow to the bid process for future NCAA events if the legislation progresses in South Dakota. It is going to be very interesting moving forward in states like Tennessee, Montana, South Dakota, and others who have either signed into law or are discussing such laws as it pertains to businesses moving out and NCAA events doing so as well.

The state of South Dakota is scheduled to host the Summit League Tournament annually in Sioux Falls, multiple sports tournament games, and future NCAA championships as well.

For more information on the NCAA statement, news surrounding college sports, and future schedules, you can visit their website. 


Sioux Falls Pool House


More From 600 ESPN El Paso