Josh Hawley criticizes NCAA President’s reaction ‘word salad’ to transgender athlete policy

Senator Josh Hawley responds to NCAA President Charlie Baker reply to his letter on NCAA transgender policy.


Josh Hawley criticizes NCAA President’s reaction ‘word salad’ to transgender athlete policy

Josh Hawley [Image Credit- NBC News]

Senator Josh Hawley has expressed his dissatisfaction with the evasive reply provided by NCAA President Charlie Baker concerning the Association’s policies on transgender athletes. Hawley had previously requested detailed information from Baker after the latter’s Senate Judiciary Committee testimony on the evolution of collegiate sports.

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Josh Hawley’s inquiry specifically sought a detailed account of the policies regulating transgender athletes’ use of locker rooms. In a letter obtained by Fox News Digital last week, Baker responded with a six-page document stressing that for every championship venue, separate locker, changing, and restroom facilities are designated for males and females, with single-person, gender-neutral accommodations also accessible during the Division I Swimming and Diving Championships.

Baker’s extensive letter, however, did not satisfy Hawley’s request for clarity. The Host notes that championship administration relies on various essentials supplied by the hosting parties. Moreover, compliance with relevant local, campus, or broader regulations is essential and may influence championship operations.

Concerning locker rooms, Baker states that the NCAA and its designated venues comply with pertinent regulations at the local, state, and national levels concerning facility access.

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Host entities are expected to provide several components to support the administration of championships. Further, a host entity’s local and/or campus regulations require adherence and may impact the administration of championships. Regarding locker rooms, the NCAA and its host venues adhere to applicable local, state, and federal laws regarding access to facilities
Baker said in letter responding to Hawley, via: FoxNews

Hawley’s correspondence also inquired if the NCAA has ever stipulated, suggested, or counseled that opponents of its transgender athlete policies undergo therapy or educational measures.

Charlie Baker unaware of any NCAA recommendation on league’s policies on transgender athletes

Baker responded, confirming a lack of awareness, and highlighted the NCAA’s regulatory stipulations. These mandate that every affiliated institution must establish mental health facilities and protocols in line with the NCAA’s recommended practices for mental health.

Charlie Baker
Charlie Baker [Image Credit- San Diego Union-Tribune]

Embedded within these guidelines is the requirement that student-athletes exhibiting mental health concerns or conditions are afforded access to necessary counseling or educational measures. Importantly, engaging with these mental health resources is, and remains, an elective choice for the student-athletes. Baker said:

Not to our knowledge. NCAA legislation states that each member school must have in place mental health services and policies consistent with NCAA Mental Health Best Practices. Within that context, all student-athletes who have mental health symptoms or disorders must be provided access to counseling or other educational interventions as appropriate, and utilizing those services has always been and will continue to be voluntary.

In a recent declaration provided to Fox News Digital, Senator Hawley characterized Baker’s reply as an inconsequential combination of words, a “meaningless word salad“. He said:

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Whether in a hearing or letter, Charlie Baker and the NCAA can’t give a straight answer about biological men competing in women’s sports. And until they do, I’ll keep demanding the NCAA provide an explanation that isn’t meaningless word-salad. Female athletes deserve better.

He emphasized his commitment to persistently press the NCAA for an intelligible rationale, asserting that women in sports merit a superior advocacy.

In his previous testimony, the ex-Massachusetts governor and successor to Mark Emmert as NCAA President, Baker, differentiated his stance from the preceding transgender athlete policies, referencing inquiries concerning transgender competitors in women’s events, exemplified by Riley Gaines‘ 2022 NCAA ordeal.

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