17-year-old Tate Drageset has reportedly verbally committed to the University of Washington for an all-expenses-paid athletic scholarship opportunity. If the offer is signed in fall 2024, Dragest would get one of only twelve D1 volleyball scholarships available for women at the school which are often spread out over four years, with as few as two to three being offered each year.
Swimmer Riley Gaines wrote on X, “Male takes women's volleyball scholarship at @UW ... a soon-to-be Big 10 school.”
She added, “Stealing the already few opportunities for women at the collegiate level. How can he be proud? @UWVolleyball should rescind the scholarship if they really care about women. He can play with the men.”
According to Reduxx, Drageset’s status as transgender was concealed from the public knowledge. Parents, coaches, and even opposing players were not informed of Drageset’s biological sex before games.
The outlet reported that Drageset’s verbal commitment to UW was made in June and multiple sporting magazines covered the announcement at the time.
Drageset was on two USA Volleyball teams in two separate age groups that both claimed national titles last summer, was named MVP at the Girls Junior National Championships earlier this year, and was awarded the title of the California Interscholastic Federation’s Division 5 Player of the 2022-23 Year. Drageset also won a silver medal and $2,000 prize while playing as a professional female volleyball players at the Teqvoly World Tour.
A source told Reduxx that suspicions were raised years ago when Drageset’s playing far exceeded other teammates and was at the age of 12 playing against 14-year-old females. “
You could tell even back then that he was different from the girls,” the parent says. “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.”
According to the source, parents haven’t spoken out due to fears of reprisals against their daughters. “Everyone is scared of how their child will be treated if they speak up. It’s already so competitive to get on a good club team. 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.”
The Independent Council on Women’s Sports (ICONS) told the outlet that Drageset’s family appears to be actively obscuring his status. “We know many of the girls he’s playing against do not know that they are competing against a male. 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.”
Despite the subterfuge, Drageset’s mother Stacey reportedly commissioned a documentary film to be made about Tate in 2016 called Transmission Love from Tomorrow Pictures. The site for that film is no longer up.
She also shopped the story to the Los Angeles Times and revealed she became convinced her son was transgender due to his preference for “feminine” clothing and colors as a toddler.
Stacey even published a children’s book on gender identity. One of the books was named during an inquiry into age-appropriate books in Texas schools.
According to ICONS, much of the blame for the allowance of biological males in women’s sports is due to the NCAA. “Right now, the NCAA guidelines and the upcoming Biden Administration’s Title IX reinterpretations incentivize male athletes and their families to hide their sex from women and girls.”
“We’re facing a situation where women aren’t even allowed to know if they’re putting themselves at increased safety risk. It’s as if men are allowed to do what they want to women so long as they can get away with it. The message to teams across the country is that if men excel at deception or if the NCAA effectively silences women, men are allowed to compromise women’s safety, dignity, and privacy.”
“The only solution to provide women with fair and safe sport is to have a female-protected category with no exceptions.”
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