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Swim coach Rice speaks out about transgender Lia Thomas

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Swim coach Rice speaks out about transgender Lia Thomas

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Something quite interesting happened last week when Rice’s swim coach Seth Huston openly spoke out about the story of transgender swimmer Lia Thomas who has dominated college swimming since early December, when Thomas has made headlines for breaking female biological records.

In an interview with Swimswam.com, Huston openly criticized the NCAA and was even quoted as saying he thinks it’s “black and white right now, you compete like what you were born biologically until that we’re getting to the point where we’ve expanded the opportunities, you know, for example, with trans people.”

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And the world didn’t stop at Huston’s comments. He was not fired and his biography was not deleted from Rice’s swimming site.

While Thomas’ teammates spoke to OutKick via anonymity to protect themselves from attack, Huston, who is in his 19th season at Rice, would be the first coach to put his name to quotes associated with the Thomas controversy.

Lia Thomas of the Pennsylvania Quakers prepares to compete in a freestyle event during a tri-meet against the Yale Bulldogs and the Dartmouth Big Green at Sheerr Pool on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania on January 8, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

The four-time Conference USA Coach of the Year told Swimswam, unequivocally, that the NCAA is full of cowards who refuse to take a stand. Last week, the NCAA Board of Directors threw the transgender issue on the road for boards to address.

“The NCAA once again proved they weren’t leading. They weren’t even really following,” Huston told Swimswam. “NCAA governance has become a spectator waiting for other organizations to make tough decisions. They hoped that NIL would continue to be phased out and now they are scrambling to fit it into their build. Now they are sitting on the touch with transgender issues.

“The [College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America] right to be frustrated with NCAA leadership or lack thereof, but wrong to suggest Lia compete in the NCAA.”

According to Swimswam, Huston said Thomas should not be allowed to compete in the women’s division at the NCAA championships in March.

“I respect Lia Thomas, her transition and all that,” he said. “And I totally agree with (her) the opportunity to compete. Because it would be a Title IX issue.

“But I think another thing in Title IX is that we have to have time to adapt, I guess you could say. Whether it’s creating a third division, a transgender division or whatever that is.”

Swim coach Rice speaks out about transgender Lia Thomas

 | Top stories

Lia Thomas of the Pennsylvania Quakers smiles after winning the 200-yard freestyle event in a tri-meet against the Yale Bulldogs and the Dartmouth Big Green at Sheerr Pool on the University of Pennsylvania campus on January 8 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

Keep in mind that Huston is a member of the CSCAA’s “100 Greatest Coaches” list. He’s an influential voice within the college industry, and he says Thomas shouldn’t be allowed to compete — and likely beat — biological women at NCAA championships.

Roger Brooks, who is lead counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom, told OutKick that he believes universities could ultimately pay the price in court for Title IX legalities dealing with transgender athletes taking away opportunities from female competitors. .

“I think colleges like the University of Pennsylvania that let this happen are violating Title IX and they should be held accountable and I think there are good arguments that the NCAA itself is essentially a agent of its member colleges and violates Title IX,” Brooks noted. “The law is not respected and we hope that in due course we can correct this.”

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Brooks also believes this fight will lead to a showdown in the Supreme Court.

“I think the answer to that question is ‘yes,'” he said, adding that the court cases are piling up and it’s likely there will be more cases to come. “The law is not fast, but within the next two years we will see a case on this issue before the Supreme Court.”

But that won’t come until March and the NCAA championships.

Swim coach Rice speaks out about transgender Lia Thomas

 | Top stories

Lia Thomas of the Pennsylvania Quakers prepares to compete in a freestyle event during a tri-meet against the Yale Bulldogs and the Dartmouth Big Green at Sheerr Pool on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania on January 8, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

For anything to change by then, Brooks thinks it will take a wave of rising voices saying it’s wrong for Thomas to run against biological women for NCAA titles.

“I’m heartened by what I’m hearing publicly from voices that no one can accuse of being transphobic,” Brooks said.

So far, it’s been hard to find anyone accusing Rice’s swim coach Seth Huston of being transphobic and he’s publicly stated that Thomas shouldn’t be in that women’s pool race in March.

Penn’s swim season continues Friday against West Chester. This will be Penn’s last meeting of the year before the Ivy League Championships and Thomas’ trip to the NCAA Championships.

Swim coach Rice speaks out about transgender Lia Thomas

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