ATHLETE ALLY: LGBT equality organization with a mission to allow athletes and end homophobia and transphobia in sports, published a report on the NCAA’s five power conferences — detailing how all 65 institutions in those leagues stack up against each other based on the inclusiveness of their athletic departments.

Tabbed the “Athletic Equality Index,” the organization developed the report as a way to measure power conference schools’ athletic policies and practices. Its primary focus is for better “transparency” and “accountability.”

A weighted scale was used, with several categories focusing on non-discrimination policies or level of resources for student-athletes. A school that was found to have an anti-LGBT policy was deducted points, while a school that made a pro-LGBT campaign received bonus points. The results, by conference, showed the Pac-12 outpacing other power conferences with a score of 79.7. The ACC (72.0) was second, with Big Ten (65.7), Big 12 (56.8) and SEC (56.4) rounding out the five leagues.

Athlete Ally founder and executive director Hudson Taylor said the NCAA was aware of the index but not directly involved in the process of examining schools’ policies. He said that now institutions can “no longer cite a lack of data and reporting as a rationale for inaction.”

“We hope the Athletic Equality Index will act as the catalyst needed for institutions to continue the pursuit of proactive LGBTQ inclusive policies and practices,” Taylor said in a statement.

Added Helen Carroll, a former NCAA/NAIA athletic director and the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ director: “This brings to the forefront the visibility of positive, or in some cases negative, atmospheres within the colleges and measures these efforts on a scale that offers opportunity for the institution to look at where they stand in comparison to institutions within their conference and among the NCAA. …The necessity of closely examining the inner working of institutions and studying the steps they are taking is imperative in this day and age where action outpaces verbal commitments.”


Source: USA Today