NCAA criticized inequalities between men’s and women’s institutions | Basketball News

Disparities in the equipment and resources offered at March Madness basketball tournaments draw condemnation.

The association that oversees college sports in the United States has come under heavy criticism after a video shared on social media showed considerable disparities between men’s and women’s weight rooms at their basketball tournaments. Division I.

Oregon Ducks forward Sedona Prince shared a video to TikTok and Twitter from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) March Madness tournament facility.

“So for the NCAA March Madness, the biggest college basketball tournament for women, it’s our weight room,” Prince said, pointing to a single stack of a dozen low-weight dumbbells. .

She then shared footage of a sprawling men’s weight room, complete with several squat racks.

“If you’re not upset with this problem, then you’re part of it,” Prince said.

The NCAA responded to those concerns at a press briefing on Friday, saying it had failed to prepare to host 64 teams for the women’s tournament, which was held in San Antonio, Texas, this year. , while travel was limited due to COVID-19. .

“As a former female student basketball athlete, my priority has always been to make this event the best possible experience for everyone involved,” Lynn Holzman, NCAA vice president for women’s basketball.

Holzman originally told Washington Post reporter Molly Hensley-Clancy in a statement that “limited space” was the reason for the disparities, “and the original plan was to expand the training area once space additional would be available later in the tournament ”.

In a Friday statement, the NCAA said Holzman had spoken to team coaches and staff members about how to “readjust the available square footage” in San Antonio to provide more training opportunities.

The NCAA tweeted a photo of an improved women’s weight room on Saturday.

“I apologize to the girls’ basketball student-athletes, coaches and the women’s basketball committee for dropping the ball in the weight rooms in San Antonio,” the senior vice president of basketball said Friday. NCAA, Dan Gavitt.

But athletes, coaches and others in the sports world continued to raise questions about what the episode said about the resources allocated to male and female athletes, calling on the NCAA to learn from critics.

“This situation in the NCAA bubble weight room is beyond disrespect,” WNBA Las Vegas Aces A’ja Wilson said on Twitter. NBA All-Star Guardian Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors tweeted: “Wow, go for it now!”

Dawn Staley, one of the most accomplished athletes in American basketball history and the current head coach of the University of South Carolina women’s team, called on the NCAA to address “the fundamental issues that exist in our sport ”.

“Every team here in San Antonio has won and deserves at least the same level of respect as the men. All the teams here face the same issues as the men’s teams this season; yet their “reward” is different, “Staley said in a statement shared on Twitter.

“Women’s basketball is a popular sport whose stock and presence continue to increase globally. It is sad that the NCAA is unwilling to recognize and invest in our growth despite its demands for unity and equality, ”she said.

The NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament attracts millions of viewers each year and brings in billions of dollars to the NCAA. Yahoo! Finance reported last year that March Madness brought in $ 933 million in ad revenue alone.

But as women’s basketball grows in popularity, “it’s still an afterthought in the overall NCAA picture,” the Wall Street Journal reported this week.

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