Chandler Parsons challenges Dawn Staley for take on transgender players in women’s CBB

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Former NBA player Chandler Parson challenged University of South Carolina women’s basketball head coach Dawn Staley for saying that she supports transgender women being able to play women’s college basketball.

Parsons asked if she’d be willing to let Purdue University star Zach Edey play against her team if he decided to identify as a woman next season.

Edey, who is only the second two-time winner in Wooden Award history, has led Purdue to the NCAA Tournament title game against the University of Connecticut Huskies (the reigning champions) in men’s college basketball.

While Parsons’ scenario is hypothetical, it also is unrealistic based on the rules set forth by the NCAA.

As of January 2022, the NCAA updated its transgender student-athlete participation. It calls for athletes to provide documentation that they are undergoing hormonal treatment for gender transition.

“The documentation had to demonstrate compliance with the 2010 NCAA policy, which calls for one year of testosterone suppression treatment. It also had to document a one-time serum testosterone level that fell below the maximum allowable level for the sport in which the student-athlete was competing within four weeks of championship selections for that sport,” the NCAA’s policy, which was updated in April of 2023, states. “That means that student-athletes who already fulfilled the 2010 NCAA policy only needed provide one validated serum testosterone level.”

Parsons clearly wanted to use Edey – arguably the best player in college basketball this season – as an example, but he would have to adhere to these requirements before competing against Staley’s team.

It appears that Staley is completely willing to follow the rules that the NCAA has put in place to ensure what it believes is fair competition.

Parsons’ post hasn’t generated a response from Staley just yet, as she was focused on leading her team to a national title win over the University of Iowa Hawkeyes on Sunday. Staley and South Carolina won 87-75, giving Staley her third national title as the school’s head coach.

The Gamecocks also won national titles in 2017 and 2022.

A seven-time Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year and two-time AP Coach of the Year, Staley is one of the greatest coaches in the sport of women’s basketball. It seems like she’s willing to welcome any challenge and wants equality when it comes to anyone looking to play sports.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.