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It's Monday, but at least you're not former Indiana Gov. Warren McCray.

  • 100 years ago today, McCray resigned from office after being convicted in federal court of mail fraud.

🌧️ Today's weather: Mostly cloudy with a high near 75 and a chance of showers or thunderstorms.

🏆 Situational awareness: Axios Indianapolis took home the award for best newsletter at the 2023 Indiana Pro SPJ Best in Indiana Journalism awards Friday night!

Today's newsletter is 906 words — a 3.5-minute read. Edited by Lindsey Erdody and copy edited by Bill Kole.

1 big thing: NCAA trans athlete policy under pressure

The NCAA headquarters in downtown Indy. Photo: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

A group of transgender athletes and allies are asking the National Collegiate Athletic Association to protect trans and nonbinary athletes' place in NCAA sports.

Why it matters: The Indianapolis-based NCAA is the largest college sports governing body in the country, covering more than 500,000 student-athletes at 1,000-plus higher education institutions.

Driving the news: The NCAA hosted its annual Inclusion Forum in downtown Indianapolis last week, with programming focused on each of the NCAA Office of Inclusion's five core areas: disability, international, LGBTQ, race/ethnicity and women.

  • Ahead of the forum, hundreds of athletes, allies, scholars, advocacy organizations and others sent letters to the NCAA Board of Governors calling for transgender athletes to be included in NCAA sports.

Catch up quick: This month, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, a smaller collegiate athletic governing body, banned transgender women from competing in its collegiate women's sports.

  • In 2022, the NCAA Board of Governors set a policy that transgender athlete participation should follow the guidelines set by the international governing bodies of each sport.
  • This sport-by-sport approach was phased in over several years, with full implementation set to start this fall.

Friction point: Advocates are worried the NCAA will instead reverse course and follow the NAIA by putting new restrictions on transgender athletes.

  • "There's been mounting pressure on the NCAA in the last year and, really, in the last month, to put in place an even more restrictive policy," said Anna Baeth, the director of research for Athlete Ally, a national advocacy organization.

The other side: Last month, a group of female athletes sued the NCAA over the 2022 policy, arguing that allowing trans women to participate in women's sports violates Title IX.

What's next

2. Office vacancies are up, but don't get down

Illustration: Tiffany Herring/Axios

Office vacancy rates in Indianapolis have climbed to new heights, but experts say the numbers don't tell the entire story.

Why it matters: The high vacancy rates reflect a downtown that has struggled to fully bounce back after the pandemic, but signs of life in Q1 — in addition to Indianapolis being a hot spot for tourism over the last few months — suggest that downtown Indy has found its footing.

The big picture: Throughout 2023, the entire country saw office vacancy approach levels not seen since the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s.

Zoom in: Between mid-2022 and mid-2023, Indianapolis office vacancy jumped from 20.1% to 23.7%, per commercial brokerage JLL. It now sits at 24% for the first time.

Yes, but: Mike Cagna, senior research manager for JLL, says the vacancy rate appears to be peaking.

  • "In fact, had it not been for RCI vacating 219,000 square feet at its West Carmel Operations Center this quarter vacancy would already be trending down," Cagna said.

Plus: Some big first-quarter wins aren't yet showing up in the local numbers, such as SomeraRoad closing a deal to bring the headquarters of specialty products manufacturer Calumet to the Stutz.

  • The signing of the 52,000-square-foot lease will see Calumet move 200 employees from the northwest side to downtown Indianapolis.

What's next: Cagna is optimistic about the rest of 2024.

  • "Indianapolis has the necessary ingredients to see occupancy growth throughout the remainder of 2024," he said.

3. Pit stop: Catch up quick on the weekend's news

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

🏈 The Colts selected UCLA defensive end Laiatu Latu in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft. Their top offensive pick was Texas wide receiver Adonai Mitchell.

🪧 College campuses across the state are seeing protesters arrested following demonstrations related to calls for a ceasefire in Gaza. (IndyStar)

  • After a weekend of clashes between demonstrators and state police, IU said it's in the process of approving a request allowing for tents to be erected in Dunn Meadow. (FOX59)

📕 A member of the Indianapolis Public Library board resigned last week, in another instance of unrest among the board and those who appoint representatives to it, stemming from disagreement over leadership of the system. (Mirror Indy)

4. Pacers beat Bucks back to back

Myles Turner tuned it up in Gainbridge over the weekend. Photo: Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

The Pacers are one win away from the second round of the 2024 NBA playoffs.

What's happening: The Pacers beat the Milwaukee Bucks at home Friday and last night to go up 3-1 in the best-of-seven series.

What's next: Game 5 tomorrow in Milwaukee. If the Pacers win, they move to the second round for the first time since the 2013-2014 season.

  • Tipoff is at 9:30pm.

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Illustration: Andrew Caress/Axios

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5. Meatless Monday: Vegan Thai takeout

Medium spicy was on the hot side. Photo: Arika Herron/Axios

👋 Arika here, checking out a new (to me) delivery option.

Driving the news: Tired of my usual takeout spots, I was recently doomscrolling DoorDash and came across a restaurant I'd never heard of: Veganity Thai.

  • After a quick Google search and phone call, I found out that Veganity is not so much a new restaurant, and it is a vegan menu from west side restaurant Thai Town Cuisine.
  • The restaurant told me that Veganity is delivery-only but you can request the vegan menu in person at Thai Town.

What to order: The daily drunken noodles ($18), available with tofu or just veggies.

  • The extra thick broad noodles are the star of the show. They're stir-fried with a decent amount of tender vegetables, basil and mushrooms.

Where to go: Nowhere. This is takeout, friends.

About those spring rolls ...

Our picks:

🐔 Arika has fond Chicken Limo memories from college, including a surprise pickup by one at the Indy airport coming back from spring break.

ğŸŽ Justin thinks Apple cutting Vision Pro production because no one wants to buy a $3,500 VR headset is the least surprising headline he's read in a while.

👀 Lindsey is reading about the "crisis" inside NPR.