UPenn Chooses to Nominate Lia Thomas as NCAA 'Woman of the Year'

AP Photo/Josh Reynolds

RedState has covered extensively the trials and tribulations involved in the University of Pennsylvania athletic program, specifically the women’s swimming team and transgender student-athlete Lia Thomas, most recently in mid-June. You can find much more of my colleagues’ great coverage of this story here.


On Thursday came an announcement from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) about Thomas, which several publications reported on Friday.

New York Daily News:

Swimmer Lia Thomas, who became the first openly transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division I national championship earlier this year, has been nominated for the 2022 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

The 22-year-old athlete was one of 577 graduating student-athletes from Divisions I, II and II to be nominated for the prestigious award, the National Collegiate Athletic Association said Thursday in a news release.

Thomas was nominated for the honor by the University of Pennsylvania, from which she graduated in May.

Here’s the purpose of the award, according to an NCAA statement:

“Established in 1991, the award recognizes female student-athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in their community, in athletics and in academics throughout their college careers,” the release read.

“As 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the NCAA Woman of the Year program is an important opportunity to honor and reflect on the impact of women on intercollegiate sports.”

The NY Daily News piece explains that as part of the nomination process, each eligible school “can submit the names of up to two female student-athletes. The Woman of the Year Selection Committee will then select 10 athletes from each division to determine the top 30 honorees.”


Jennifer C. Braceras, director of the Independent Women’s Law Center and the Independent Women’s Forum, took to the Twitters after learning about the news.

She expressed for many how sad it is for the alumna women athletes at UPenn to be overlooked like this. It’s truly a slap in the face for their years of struggles and sacrifices–doing what they love–to be treated with such disdain.

UPenn has a LOT of great female athletes. But the university CHOSE to nominate #LiaThomas for NCAA female athlete of the year. Shame on Penn, depriving a woman of this honor.

I can’t argue with her reasoning, as Braceras added in a reply to her tweet, just this as a hashtag: “UPennHatesWomen.”


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