NCAA criticized for the disparity between the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, NCAA has recently apologized this Saturday.
The criticism started after a Stanford University coach posted a photo to social media comparing the men’s and women’s weight setups.
Moreover, the photo compared the weight room for the men’s basketball team and the women’s team.
University of Oregon sophomore Sedona Prince also posted a social media video of the “weight room” offered at the women’s tournament in San Antonio.
It showed a small rack of free weights with no benches or other amenities for women.
While men received a room full of all the weight setups. After the controversy, players, coaches, and fans heavily criticized the organization.
Criticism from players, coaches, and fans
Firstly, University of Oregon sophomore Sedona Prince criticized the disparity.
“Lemme shows y’all the men’s weight room,” Prince said.
She showed a video cut to a well-equipped gym at the men’s tournament in Indiana.
Prince scoffed at the NCAA’s initial response that the difference was due to space constraints.
She posted a video of the roomy space available in San Antonio.
“If you aren’t upset about this problem, then you are a part of it,” added Prince, whose tweet garnered reaction around the basketball world.
NBA star Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors re-tweeted the video with the caption, “wow, come on now!”
Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving also called out the disparities on Instagram. “Soooooo @ncaa This is how y’all are doing our Queens???!!!” Irving posted.
“We can’t tolerate this! They deserve more!”
Philadelphia 76ers’ star Ben Simmons also talked about the controversy and criticized the NCAA.
In a recent media interview, Simmons said, “I don’t have any respect for NCAA at all.”
“I think what they’re doing is wrong. I’ve seen the women’s stuff at the gym, and that’s obviously not fair.
But they have so much money that they can’t set up a weight room the same and be equal with that? That’s bull****. There’s no excuse for that. They have no excuse.
“They have too much money to not be able to do that and take care of the women’s side.
“So on that side, the NCAA has been bull**** about that. It’s disrespectful to those girls who are working just as hard as the guys and having the same opportunity.”
Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum used the “trash” emoji after witnessing the striking differences between the men’s and women’s weight rooms.
Additional disparities besides “weight room.”
Additionally, Dawn Staley, a three-time Olympic basketball gold medallist who now coaches the University of South Carolina women’s team, said the weight-room differences pointed out by Price are just a small part of the disparity.
She said the mindset “is not just contained to our championship.“It’s on our campuses. So this is nothing new.”
Staley noted other disparities, such as in the gifts tournament participants received and even in the Covid-19 tests being administered.
On Twitter, Staley urged NCAA chief Mark Emmert and his team “to own this mistake.”
“It is said that the NCAA is not willing to recognize and invest in our growth despite its claims of togetherness and equality,” Staley said in her post.
“We all came to San Antonio with one goal: it’s time for us to turn our attention to preparing our teams for that.
But it is also time for the NCAA leadership to reevaluate the value they place on women.”
Most shocking of all was what Geno Auriemma, coach of the University of Connecticut, addressed.
He told reporters Friday that the school’s men’s team tested daily with highly accurate PCR COVID-19 tests.
Meanwhile, his women’s team was receiving less accurate antigen tests. The NCAA later confirmed that the two tournaments are using different testing methods.
An apology from the NCAA and provides new weight room
After heavy criticism and called out by NBA players, NCAA players, coaches, fans.
The NCAA revealed an upgraded weight room Saturday for players participating in the women’s college basketball tournament in San Antonio.
“I want to be really clear,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in an interview on Friday with reporters.
“This is not something that should have happened, and should we ever conduct a tournament like this again, will ever happen again.”
Responding to the controversy Friday, NCAA Vice President of Women’s Basketball Lynn Holzman acknowledged in a press briefing that the organization “fell short.”
She added the NCAA had originally intended for women’s players to have access to a full weight room once their team had reached the third round of the tournament.
While the men’s teams had access to a full weight room during the entirety of their tournament run.
NCAA officials addressed other disparities and said that despite appearances, the swag bags were equal in value.
The food quality is addressed immediately with the hotels in San Antonio that are housing the women’s players.
As for the differences in testing, NCAA President Mark Emmert said Friday that he had “complete confidence” in the different protocols.
He said the difference is due to the organization’s partnerships with local health organizations in Indianapolis and San Antonio.
“All of the health experts say the protocol that they’re using right now in all our venues.
And all our championships have no difference at all in our ability to mitigate risk,” he said.
After the upgraded weight room
Sedona Prince’s video showed six pairs of dumbbells in the women’s training area while the men’s furnished with numerous training racks, bars, plates, dumbbells, and benches.
It quickly went viral and has now enacted real change in the form of a new women’s weight room.
Oregon University basketball player Sedona Prince told CNN,” I had no idea it would be at this level, I just made a TikTok, and I put it on Twitter.
Because I wanted it to get more exposure,” Prince told CNN. “And as soon as Steph Curry quote tweeted it, I was like ‘Okay, this is going to be pretty big.”
The athlete added, “I didn’t really know if there was going to be a change or not, but now that there has been, I’m really happy.
And all the rest of the girls here are very excited to use our new weight room.”
The difference in treatment for women and men has always been huge, and addressing these differences is equally important to bring change.