(This story was published in 2001).

From NCAA News

The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics (CWA) is concerned that homophobia in intercollegiate athletics has become a problem with a variety of negative effects — for student-athletes, coaches and athletics administrators.

The committee, which met in San Francisco June 27-29, has forwarded several recommendations regarding homophobia education to the Management Councils in all three divisions.

The committee has asked that educational presentations about homophobia be conducted at the 2002 NCAA Convention (as an Association-wide session); at the annual NCAA Foundation Leadership Conference, beginning in 2002; at the July 2002 joint meeting of the three NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committees; at the 2002 Title IX Seminar; and at meetings of all three Management Councils.

The committee noted that diversity training modules on sexual orientation were already budgeted for and being developed for use in the NCAA CHAMPS/Life Skills program and in the existing NCAA diversity training program. The committee requested to see those modules during its October meeting so that it may review and comment on them.

The committee, which heard a presentation on homophobia in intercollegiate athletics from Laurie Priest, director of athletics at Mount Holyoke College, and Andrew Holder, a former student-athlete at Lewis and Clark College, emphasized its belief that athletics administrators have a responsibility to provide student-athletes with a safe environment in which to develop academically and athletically.

The committee also expressed concern that homophobia had numerous negative consequences for athletics administrators and coaches, particularly women. The committee further noted its belief that homophobia may be a contributing factor to the significant reduction in numbers of women in coaching and athletics administration.

In a related action, the committee recommended to the Division I Management Council that the Division I Committee on Athletics Certification include a component in the student-athlete welfare section of the athletics certification program on providing a safe environment for all students, including student-athletes with diverse sexual orientations. The committee also recommended to the Division II and III Management Councils that the institutional self-study guides in each division include a similar component.

In another related action, the committee asked the chair to send a letter to NCAA President Cedric W. Dempsey recommending that the NCAA national office provide domestic-partner benefits for staff members as a part of the Association’s benefits package for employees. The committee noted that it believed the national office could provide significant leadership in this area by providing benefits that were consistent with its equal opportunity/nondiscrimination statement for employees, which states that the Association will not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, among other things.