Sports bra article raises questions

Sports bra article raises questions


A recently published article raised questions about the possibility of Rowan’s women athletes being restricted from wearing sports bras without shirts during training. The piece raises questions about the possibility of an inequitable protocol for women’s athletic apparel. I assure you that the University and our Athletics program are committed to providing the most accommodating and fair environment for all of our athletes.  

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.

What led to the article and brought light to the verbal policy was a recent explanation of it to new staff, who then relayed the information to students. Having practiced all season in “sports bra” tops, many interpreted this as a new policy. 

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. Rowan Athletics will continue to follow NCAA guidelines for uniforms during competition. 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.

Please feel free to contact us with further thoughts or questions at


Thank you,

Ali A. Houshmand

President, Rowan University