A California transgender volleyball player may become the first biological male recipient of a collegiate Division 1 athletic scholarship designated for women. 

Tate Drageset, 17, verbally committed to the University of Washington, where Drageset is poised  to claim one of 12 Division 1 volleyball scholarships designated for female players, Reduxx first reported on Dec. 13. 

A class of 2025 volleyball commitments Twitter page announced Drageset’s intention to play as an outside hitter at the University of Washington. 

In high school, Drageset earned 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.

The NCAA needs to prevent players like Drageset from taking scholarships from females, former Division 1 volleyball player and now Independent Women’s Forum spokeswoman Adriana McLamb told The Daily Signal

“As a former Division 1 NCAA volleyball athlete and current recruiting coordinator, I know and see the uphill battle athletes are facing and will face by competing against a male for roster spots and scholarships designated for women,” McLamb said. “The sad truth is that schools will inevitably recruit the stronger, faster male athlete because the NCAA allows it.”

“The root of this issue is the NCAA, because they have outright refused to set parameters that safeguard their female athletes,” said McLamb, who now coaches aspiring collegiate female volleyball players.

In September 2022, another biological male identifying as a girl spiked the ball in the face of female high school volleyball player Payton McNabb in North Carolina, leaving her with severe head and neck injuries resulting in long-term concussion symptoms.

University of Washington Assistant Director of Athletic Communications Michael Bruscas declined to comment on Drageset. 

“NCAA rules prohibit universities from commenting on any student-athlete who has not signed a letter of intent, regardless of whether they are being actively recruited or not, even in instances where media reports are claiming that a verbal commitment has been made,” he told The Daily Signal. 

Drageset currently plays on the highest-level team at a Santa Monica, California, volleyball club. According to Drageset’s Hudl account, an online platform for coaches to review player performance, the athlete is 6 feet tall. 

An anonymous source identified by Reduxx as the parent of a minor player in the Southern California Volleyball Association community revealed concerns about “the steady escalation of Drageset’s participation in women’s volleyball,” Reduxx reported. 

The source said every parent in the volleyball association was aware of Drageset’s participation, but they were afraid to discuss it. 

“Everyone is scared of how their child will be treated if they speak up,” the parent told Reduxx. “The stealing of positions and opportunities has been infuriating, and so sad, when you see how it affects the girls. There is no concern for their mental health or safety after being replaced.”

Independent Women’s Forum spokeswoman and former NCAA swimming champion Riley Gaines said the University of Washington should rescind the scholarship if it cares about women. 

“Stealing the already few opportunities for women at the collegiate level,” Gaines wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “How can he be proud?”

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