Letter to the NCAA to divest from all religious based campuses who have requested discriminatory Title IX waivers against LGBTQ youth

Wed, March 9, 2016


Mark Emmert, President

Cari Van Senus, Chief of Staff

Kathleen McNeely, VP of Administration & Chief Financial Officer

Brian Hainline, Senior VP & Chief Medical Officer

Joni Comstock, Senior VP of Championships &  Senior Woman Administrator

Bernard Franklin, Executive VP of Education & Community Engagement

Mark Lewis, Executive VP of Championships and Alliances

Oliver Luck, Executive VP of Regulatory Affairs

Donald M. Remy, Executive VP of Law, Policy & Governance & Chief Legal Officer

Bob Williams, Senior VP of Communications

Kirk Schulz, Board of Governors Chair

Jay Lemons, Board of Governors Vice Chair


The National Collegiate Athletic Association

700 W. Washington Street

Indianapolis, Indiana 46206

Dear NCAA President, NCAA Executive Team & NCAA Board of Governors,

Over 80 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ), sports, religious and youth advocacy groups join together to formally submit this letter requesting that the NCAA take action to divest from all religious based campuses who have requested discriminatory Title IX waivers toward LGBTQ youth.

The NCAA through its member institutions sends a message about their core values of integrity, inclusive culture and sportsmanship.  Fifty-nine religious-based colleges and universities have requested a Title IX waiver for the right to discriminate against LGBTQ youth. The requests come as a response to the Department of Education decision in 2014 to include transgender students under Title IX protections.

Over half of the campuses with the discriminatory waivers are participating NCAA member institutions. These requests are directly in conflict with the NCAA’s longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion of all people regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Title IX waiver allows campus administrators to deny transgender students admission, usage of public accommodations, and protections against anti-LGBTQ actions from students and faculty – all based on a student’s gender identity. The Title IX waivers requesting to discriminate against transgender students create an unsafe environment for all LGBTQ students, both in academics and athletics.

Our partners on this open letter agree with the NCAA when it says that “Diversity and inclusion improves the learning environment for all student-athletes, and enhances excellence within the Association.” It is because we believe diversity and inclusion leads to the best learning environments that we ask NCAA to divest from all religious based campuses who have requested these discriminatory waivers.

The transgender population faces systemic discrimination that leads to disproportionate rates of poverty, suicide, and murders. For students who are privileged enough to be admitted to institutions of higher education, there should not be added harm and adversity from their school’s administration. Schools that are affiliated with the NCAA should be dedicated to fostering a campus that allows all students to flourish both academically and in co-curricular activities such as athletics.

The list of schools who have requested these Title IX waivers are on Campus Pride Shame List at CampusPride.org/ShameList. The Soulforce #GiveBackIX Campaign further details the safety concerns of transgender and LGBQ students at these campuses online at Soulforce.org/GiveBackIX.  Both Campus Pride and Soulforce would welcome an opportunity to work with the NCAA to address this concern in a way that is reflective of the association and its core values of inclusion and diversity.

Thank you for considering our request. We look forward to your response.



AIDS Housing Alliance/SF
Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center
Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence
BAGLY, Inc. (Boston Alliance of LGBTQ Youth)
Believe Out Loud
Bisexual Resource Center
Bison 4 Equality
Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Center
Campus Pride
Center for Black Equity
CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
Champion Women
Community Matters
Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals
Equality Pennsylvania
Equality Maine
Equality North Carolina
Fairness Fort Worth
Equality Texas
Faith In America
Gay, Lesbian and Affirming Disciples Alliance, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Gender Rights Maryland
GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders
GO! Athletes
Greater Boston PFLAG
Greater Palm Springs Pride
GroundSpark/The Respect for All Project
Hetrick Martin Institute
Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center
Latino Equality Alliance
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, NYC
LGBT Center of Central PA
LGBT Center of Raleigh
LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland
LGBTQ Center of Durham
Los Angeles LGBT Center
Lost N Found Youth
Marriage Equality USA
Matthew Shepard Foundation
Mazzoni Center
Metro Trans Umbrella Group of St. Louis
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs
National LGBTQ Task Force
Netroots Connect
New York City Anti-Violence Project
Oklahomans for Equality
One Colorado
One Million Kids For Equality
one n ten
PFLAG National
PFund Foundation
Phoenix Pride LGBT Center
Price Center of Western New York
Pride at Work
Pride Center of the Capital Region
Pride Center of WNY
Q Foundation
RAD Remedy
Rainbow Center
Reaching Out MBA
Resource Center
STAR TRACK, University of Maryland School of Medicine
Stonewall National Museum & Archives
Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition
The Equality Campaign, Inc.
The Gay and Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada
The LGBT Center of Central Florida
The LGBT Center of Hampton Roads
The LGBT Center Orange County
The LGBTQ Center of Long Beach
The Pennsylvania Youth Congress
The Theatre Offensive
The Trevor Project
The Tyler Clementi Foundation
Time Out Youth Center
Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico
Triangle Community Center
Truth Wins Out
The Universal Life Church Monastery LGBTI Clergy Association
Woodhull Freedom Foundation

Listed alphabetically as of March 15, 2016.

Organizations may still join the letter online.

The list will be updated regularly. Any questions please email Campus Pride.