“I am concerned about just how political the NCAA has gotten on the question of transgender athletes,” the Texas senator said during a Wednesday hearing on student-athlete compensation.
He noted an April statement from the NCAA Board of Governors that said it “firmly and unequivocally supports the opportunity for transgender student-athletes to compete in college sports” and that “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.”
“That was a not remotely subtle threat for the NCAA to boycott and target states where legislatures are acting to protect girls' sports and women’s sports,” Cruz said. “It used to not be controversial to observe that there are biological differences between boys and girls.”
He asked why the NCAA thinks it is common to assume women to race against transgender people who were born biologically male and whether he is worried about high school sports in which male-to-female transgender athletes broke multiple track and field records.
“This is a very challenging issue, and the member schools of the association have worked very hard to try and not make it a political issue and rather to be aligned as closely as possible with the Olympic movement,” Emmert responded.
He stated that NCAA rules allow male-to-female transgender athletes to compete only after they have been under a doctor’s care for at least a year and take testosterone suppression treatments that lower their testosterone levels, and Emmert said he believes that the high school transgender athletes who broke records would not meet that standard.
“We’ve been constantly trying to stay abreast of the science and make sure that we strike a balance where we don’t put women athletes at a disadvantage,” he said.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has also preemptively pushed back against backlash and criticism from the NCAA after he banned transgender women from female sports in the Sunshine State.
"I remember the NCAA putting out a statement that said any state that enacts this, we're not going to hold events there. And so I called the Speaker of the House in Florida and said, 'Did you hear what they said?' He said, 'Well, we definitely got to get this done,' `` DeSantis said on Fox News last Tuesday.