(Daily Caller News Foundation) – An athlete from California is in talks to potentially become the first biologically male athlete to receive a women’s Division I scholarship, Reduxx reported Wednesday.
Tate Drageset, 17, has committed to the University of Washington to earn one of the twelve D1 volleyball scholarships designated for female players at the university, according to Reduxx. Drageset won national titles with USA Volleyball teams in different age groups, earning MVP honors at the Girls Junior National Championships, and was named the California Interscholastic Federation’s Division 5 Player of the Year for 2022-23.
Drageset’s dominatino in women’s sports has sparked a debate, raising questions about fairness and transparency in competitive sports. A source within the Southern California Volleyball Association (SCVA) said there were fears of unfair advantages and safety risks.
A parent of a young athlete involved in the SCVA revealed that concerns about Drageset’s performance emerged some time ago, according to Reduxx. As a 12-year-old, Drageset competed against girls two years older, a move seen as an attempt to balance the athletic edge.
“You could tell even back then that he was different from the girls,” the parent from SCVA said. “As he got older, it became more obvious that something was off. Anytime the subject of [Drageset] would come up EVERY PARENT from any SCVA team already knew about him. Parents look around before they speak in hushed tones. Some will wait to discuss until outside the gym.”
The Independent Council on Women’s Sports (ICONS) said that many athletes and their families are unaware of competing against a male athlete, leading to potential unfairness and safety concerns, Reduxx reported.
“We know many of the girls he’s playing against do not know that they are competing against a male,” ICONS representative Marshi Smith said. “There has been no consideration from his family to tell female athletes or coaches the truth. They have not been transparent, so girls are repeatedly and unknowingly put at a disadvantage and not given the chance to opt out over increased safety risks.”