South Dakota: High school transgender athletes policy stands

PIERRE, South Dakota — A Senate committee has defeated a proposal that would void a High School Activities Association policy on transgender student participation in sports.

The Senate Education Committee on Tuesday voted 4-3 to dismiss the measure.

The association policy was adopted in June. It requires schools to review requests by transgender students or their guardians to decide on which team the student can participate. A committee then would make the final ruling.

Erskine College’s Bible-based sexuality statement jolts its openly gay athletes

DUE WEST, South Carolina — It has been a year since Juan Varona and Andrew Davis, volleyball teammates at Erskine College, a conservative Christian school, came out as gay in an interview with

During that time, Varona said, he has been embraced by teammates, coaches, teachers and fellow students. The president of Erskine’s student government association called Varona and Davis “some of the most-liked guys on campus” at the rural liberal arts school of about 600 undergraduates, founded 176 years ago by the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.

Mets second baseman has a problem with Billy Bean being gay

PORT ST. LUCIE, Florida -- Major League Baseball's gay ambassador Billy Bean mostly got a warm welcome when he visited the New York Mets spring training camp on Tuesday, but second baseman Daniel Murphy stuck out as an anti-gay bigot.

Mets put Billy Bean into uniform to raise awareness of gay players in sport

PORT ST. LUCIE, Florida — In November, after Billy Bean addresses a room of 30 general managers, bringing a message of inclusion for gay players in baseball, New York Mets GM Sandy Alderson approached him. He was the first.

He wanted Bean to come to the team's spring training. He considered the idea of having play in games and being a true member of the team for a few days. It was his way of making sure that Bean's message reached the organization.

Ultimately, that did not happen. Bean was reticent, but he is here nonetheless. And in uniform, stretching and working out with the team.

Michael Sam invited to inaugural NFL veterans combine

Michael Sam, the first openly gay player in the NFL, has been invited to the league's inaugural veteran combine on March 22.

The league confirmed Friday a report by Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Sam was drafted in the seventh round last May by the St. Louis Rams but failed to make their 53-man roster at the end of the preseason. He was picked up by the Dallas Cowboys and added to their practice squad before being released in October after seven weeks.

Sam this week joined the new season of "Dancing With The Stars." He is currently in rehearsals.

Bingham Cup is first gay event to win top honor at sports awards

SYDNEY, NSW, Australia -- The success of last year’s Bingham Cup gay rugby union tournament, held in Sydney, has been officially recognized with the organizers last night taking home the trophy for NSW’s sports event of the year.

The award comes as Australia’a home-grown Bingham Cup champions – the Sydney Convicts – announce they will be holding an open day for new players this weekend.

Swedish hockey team rocks rainbow duds to honor gay pride

Among Swedish hockey fans, Orebro goalie Julius Hudacek is well known for his sometimes outlandish post-win celebrations. He's mimed ice fishing, played leapfrog and fallen over riding his stick like a skateboard. His antics have even spawned the hashtag #HudaShow.

Hudacek put all that energy toward a good cause this weekend. After a 4-2 victory over Frolunda, the goaltender led his team in a performance of "YMCA" on ice while wearing Village People costumes over multi-colored jerseys the team donned to support LGBT rights.

Billy Bean story to be told on MLB channel

The Billy Bean story will be told on "MLB Network Presents."

The documentary about the then-closeted Major League Baseball player premieres Tuesday night at 9 pm ET/6 pm PT on the MLB Network.

Bean will tell his story with appearances by his parents, former coaches and players, and others.

Arizona Cardinals look at Michael Sam as OLB possibility

I didn't catch it immediately when I shared it in Monday's Bird Droppings, but Josh Weinfuss at ESPN wrote about it.

10 San Diego County trails to hike in 2015

SAN DIEGO, California -- Looking to get away from the stress of everyday life? Or perhaps you have a new personal fitness goal for 2015?

Maybe you just enjoy nature or have an adventurous spirit and want to get out and explore your surroundings.

It’s a great time for you – or your friends and other family members – to put down the electronic devices and participate in a sport you can do at your own pace.