Glassboro: Rowan University Reverses Sports Bra Policy

Sources: The Odyssey Online; Rowan University Facebook

If you’re running in a sports bra, then you must be asking for it, right? Well, according to a football player at Rowan University, this is true.

I’ll have you know the real reason women run in sports bras, and it’s not to show off our hard-earned abs. We run in sports bras because our workouts are demanding, challenging, and vigorous. We run in sports bras because we are confident, hardworking student-athletes.

We do not run in a sports bra as a way to show off our bodies in attempts to distract men.

The Cross Country team at Rowan is one of the only teams that is not provided with a daily uniform to practice in. With that being said, how is it expected for the women on this team to partake in an non-existing dress code?

Women running around the track in sports bras at their own practice were claimed to be distracting to the football players on the field during the same time.

As if women no longer being able to run in sports bras wasn’t enough, now they’re no longer allowed to run on the track, period. Rowan University’s athletic practice facility includes two fields for football, soccer, field hockey, and lacrosse. There is a dedicated practice area for each team. The men and women Cross Country teams have their track. Now they no longer have that privilege.

The fact that the Athletic Department supports the claim of this being distracting, or the women “asking for it,” is disgusting. Mind you, the Athletic Department put together a video involving student-athletes addressing rape culture and how it is not tolerated here. Oh, is that so?


Rowan’s Athletic Department has had a longstanding verbal protocol that all athletes must wear shirts, even during practices. The verbal policy was adopted as a matter of keeping a level of standards throughout its men’s and women’s programs.

Not knowing the verbal policy existed and just becoming aware of it, Rowan’s administration has met with the Athletics Department and promises immediately to develop a written policy that allows women athletes to wear sports-bra tops without shirts during practices.

In the new formal policy, there will be no restriction of sports bras without shirts as practice apparel.

The University recognizes that while the verbal policy attempted to set standards, it could be misunderstood and does not accommodate today’s training practices across sports. We recognize this may stir debate within the University community and beyond.

By clarifying our support of women’s athletics and its student-athletes, Rowan strongly affirms its commitment to ensuring that women are able to train and perform at the highest levels.

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