A Just And Wise Decision

When most people think of intercollegiate athletics, they think of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which includes approximately 1,100 schools across three divisions. However, there are hundreds of other schools that do not compete in the NCAA. This includes the 250 colleges and universities that are part of the National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).

The NAIA tends to fly under the radar. Nearly all the member institutions have small enrollments and minimal name recognition outside their respective regions. Over 75 percent of the schools are private. Around 60 percent are faith-based, including many evangelical institutions. But this small athletic association has made national headlines for bringing some moral sanity to one of the most hotly disputed issues in college sports: transgender athletes.

On April 8, the NAIA Council of Presidents voted unanimously at their annual conference to ban transgender athletes from women’s sports. In order to participate in women’s intercollegiate competition, student athletes must be both biologically female from birth and have not begun hormone therapy. This marks a change from current NAIA practice, which allows for transgender students to compete. The new policy will go into effect for the 2024-2025 academic year.

The message from the NAIA is clear: If you are going to take the field in women’s sports, you have to be a woman. Unfortunately, the NCAA lacks this sort of clarity when it comes to transgender student athletes. The larger association insists that prohibiting men from competing in women’s athletics violates Title IX, the 1972 law banning discrimination on the basis of sex. Notably, the NCAA responded to the NAIA decision with a statement defending its progressive policy: “College sports are the premier stage for women’s sports in America and the NCAA will continue to promote Title IX, make unprecedented investments in women’s sports and ensure fair competition for all student-athletes in all NCAA championships.”

Click Here To Read More (Originally Published at World Opinion)

Nathan A. Finn is professor of faith and culture and directs the Institute for Transformational Leadership at North Greenville University in Tigerville, S.C. He is a research fellow for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and is senior editor for Integration: A Journal of Faith and Learning. He also serves as teaching pastor at the First Baptist Church of Taylors, S.C.