The NCAA hosted an LGBT Pride Month celebration panel discussion at their headquarters in Indianapolis last week. The panel consisted of various former LGBT and straight NCAA athletes:

  • Kye Allums, George Washington Univ. basketball
  • Nafeesa Connolly, Simmons College volleyball
  • Matt Dooley, Notre Dame tennis
  • Leah Johnson, Farleigh-Dickinson basketball
  • Derek Schell, Hillsdale College basketball

Closing remarks were made by Drew Martin, the TCU assistant athletic director who came out publicly on Outsports earlier this year.

According to Schell, there were about 150-200 attendees. From Schell:

We presented on our intersection of identities (race, religion, ethnicity, familial structure) and then discussed the reactions from our teammates, coaches, and administrations. We finished with each saying one thing we feel could improve or we need to have at each college. Then, Drew summarized everything beautifully and gave a perspective from the administrative side. Then they did a QnA section where members asked various questions from things like: How did you hide it when your teammates would ask you about dating or would go out to dates and wonder? What else can I do for already open athletes? and does the timing of when you come out matter?

Schell said he also met with various NCAA employees who work specifically in Div. II (Hillsdale College is Div. II).

The NCAA, with the guidance of Karen Morrison and their office of inclusion, has been proactive in recent years developing programming around LGBT issues.