Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Transgender athletes, College sports, National Collegiate Athletic Association-Administration, National Collegiate Athletic Association-Rules and practice, Queer theory, Feminist theory, Transphobia, Transgender, Transsexual, Athelete, Sports, NCAA, Athletic, Include, Collegiate, College, University, Non-discrimination, Gender-identity and expression, Policy, Administrators, Queer-feminism, Queer-trans, LGBT, Director, Senior woman administrator, SWA, Student-athletes, Policy-making, Inclusion, Policy transgender-inclusion, Athletic directors-Attitudes


This thesis examines how Athletic Administrators (AA) at National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) institutions include transgender identities in their policies and practices. The main hypothesis presumes that people in positions of power within the NCAA membership have less inclusive opinions regarding transgender student-athletes (TSA). A mixed methods design was used, and an anonymous web-based survey tool was employed to address AA perceptions. Inferential statistics along with queer-feminist theory were utilized to document and deconstruct dominant themes generated during data collection. The participant pool included 511 AA's recruited by use of an exhaustive email list of the two top AA's at 1,099 NCAA membership institutions. Major findings in this study document that AA's opinions on transgender–inclusion (T-I) are generally positive; however, Athletic Programs lack T-I policies that could serve to protect, retain, and recruit qualified TSA's. Comparison analyses were found to support the hypothesis that positions of power within NCAA institutions (men, athletic directors, and heterosexuals) are significantly less supportive of T-I. Additionally, AA strategies for T-I were examined, including identifying resistances to T-I. Conclusions and implications are drawn regarding the powerful identities in sporting institutions that maintain transphobic gender binaries in sport.




iv, 81 p. : col. ill. Thesis (M.S.W.)-Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2011. Includes bibliographical references (p. 64-67)