Breaking barriers
November 28, 2020

Sarah Fuller, a goalkeeper for Vanderbilt women's soccer team, suited up for the Commodore football team Saturday and became the first woman to play in a Power 5 football game when she took the third quarter kick off.

Two women have played college football at the FBS level — Katie Hnida of New Mexico and April Goss of Kent State — but neither were on a team in the the ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, or Pac-12.

Per ESPN, Vanderbilt's expected starting kicker opted out before the season, and several replacements are in quarantine this week because of COVID-19 testing, so Fuller got the call. She told Vanderbilt's website the historical aspect of the situation is "amazing and incredible," but "I'm also trying to separate that because I know this is a job I need to do." Read more at ESPN. Tim O'Donnell

April 8, 2015

The NFL on Wednesday confirmed that Sarah Thomas will become the first full-time female official in the league's history. Reports last week suggested the NFL would make Thomas — a 19-year veteran who broke the NCAA's gender barrier in 2007 — the first on-field female official, though the league declined to comment at the time. Thomas worked preseason NFL games this year, and will start off as a line judge with the opportunity to advance up the refereeing ranks. Jon Terbush

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