Breaking: Female Swimmers Sue NCAA over Male Competition, Demand Return of Trophies, Monetary Damages

A group of female athletes on Thursday sued the National Collegiate Athletics Association for permitting male intrusion into their sex-specific sports and private spaces.

Spearheaded by the Independent Council on Women's Sports, the lawsuit accuses the NCAA and Georgia Tech — the site of the 2022 NCAA Swimming Championships, where male University Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas won the 500 meter freestyle — of knowingly violating Title IX. That federal statute prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational institutions that receive federal funding, serving as the basis for sex-segregated school athletics.

The lawsuit, first reported by the Free Press, demands that males be disqualified from participating in women's sports. It asks the NCAA to rescind awards given to trans athletes in women's competitions and to "reassign" them to the female players who lost trophies and titles to the men. The lawsuit also asks for damages "for pain and suffering, mental and emotional distress, suffering and anxiety, expense costs and other damages due to defendants' wrongful conduct."

Among the plaintiffs are prominent women's sports advocates such as Riley Gaines, who tied with Thomas in the women’s 200-meter race at the NCAA tournament in March 2022. Kaitlynn Wheeler, who swam for the University of Kentucky alongside Gaines, is another plaintiff. Wheeler alleges in the suit that she and her teammates were forced into an extremely uncomfortable situation with having to change into their swimsuits in front of Thomas in the women's locker room.

"While you're doing this, you're exposed," Wheeler said in the suit. "You can't stand there and hold a towel around you while putting the suit on at the same time."

The female plaintiffs represent swimming programs at colleges such as NC State Swimming, Roanoke College Women's Swimming, VA Tech Swimming and Diving, and University of KY Swimming and Diving.

Kylee Alons, a plaintiff in the suit who swam for North Carolina State, told The Free Press that she changed in a "dimly lit storage and utility closet" at the NCAA championships to avoid changing with Thomas.

"I was literally racing U.S. and Olympic gold medalists and I was changing in a storage closet at this elite-level meet," Alons said. "I just felt that my privacy and safety were being violated in the locker room."

An anonymous plaintiff also recalled rushing off to change in a bathroom stall after confronting a "naked Thomas 10 feet in front of her and a full frontal view of Thomas's genitalia" in the locker room, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also rejects the bandaid solution promulgated by many sports governing bodies of testosterone limits on male athletes, which the plaintiffs argue are not sufficient to level the playing field with women.

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Female Swimmers Sue NCAA over Male Competition, Demand Return of Trophies, Monetary Damages

The suit also names Georgia Tech, which hosted the 2022 swimming championship, where male Lia Thomas ... READ MORE


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