Harvard University’s Schuyler Bailar made headlines tonight while he was profiled by CBS Television Network’s “60 Minutes.” Bailar has been blazing the trail as the first ever openly transgender athlete in an NCAA Division 1 Men’s Sport. The segment featured Bailar, his parents, and his coaches at Harvard, as they discussed the path Schuyler took towards becoming a member of the Harvard men’s swim team.
As a recruit, Schuyler received a lot of interest from Division 1 coaches before deciding that Harvard was his first choice. His original plan was to swim on the women’s team at Harvard under head coach Stephanie Morawski, but made the decision to swim for the men’s team with the support of Morawski and men’s coach Kevin Tyrrell.
The journey towards swimming for the Harvard men wasn’t always an easy one, and Schuyler initially postponed his enrollment at Harvard. Bailar’s parents joined the segment to discuss Schuyler’s struggles with eating disorders. They talked about the mental health issues and challenges Schuyler had to overcome as he realized he was transgender.
Bailar’s original plan was to lead a double life. He would live as a man on Harvard’s campus, but compete as a member of the women’s swim team. The NCAA has a policy that allows athletes who identify as male, but were born female, to compete on women’s teams as long as they aren’t taking male hormones. That would’ve allowed him to swim for Morowski.
Both Morowski and Tyrrell were interviewed in the segment to discuss their role in helping Bailar switch to the men’s team. Tyrell talk about addressing the situation with the team and ensuring there was an inclusive environment for Bailar.
Bailar is now a breaststroker for the Crimson men, with best times of 59.46 and 2:11.43 in the 100 and 200 from the team’s tri-meet against Princeton and Yale. He also swam a best of 56.26 in the 100 fly at the Harvard vs. Bryant meet. Bailar has also contributed on the teams relays, splitting a 58.76 on the breast leg of the 400 medley relay.
You can watch the full segment, called “Switching Teams,” here.