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NAIA Bans Transgender Athletes From Women's Sports

While the NCAA continues to allow transgender athletes to compete in women's sports, the NAIA has now said it's a no-go. And by unanimous vote.

More specifically, the NAIA governing body announced that the Council of Presidents approved the policy by a vote of 20-to-zilch. The NAIA oversees 249 small colleges and universities.

It becomes the first national collegiate athletic organization to ban transgenders from competing in women's sports. There has been no record of transgender athletes attempting to compete in men's sports at any level.

Still, the updated policy also blocks individuals who were assigned male at birth and started "masculizing hormone therapy" to transition to a woman.

The new policy is set to go into effect on August 1.

"We know there are a lot of different opinions out there," NAIA president Jim Carr told CBS Sports. "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."

Meanwhile, the NCAA has remained silent on the matter.

"The NCAA, which is a separate entity to the NAIA, took the stance in 2022 that it would allow the national governing bodies for each individual sport to determine the eligibility of transgender athletes in women's sports," wrote Mark Harris of Outkick.

"In other words, the NCAA is deflecting decisions regarding biological males participating in women's sports to other decision-makers so it doesn't get its hands dirty."

Added CBS Sports:

"According to Pew Research Center, 1.6% of U.S. adults are transgender or nonbinary. The NAIA has no knowledge of transgender athletes competing in its postseasons to this point, Carr said. "

Carr added that any NAIA athletes who are no longer eligible for women's competition can still participate in men's sports.