NCAA Acknowledges Differences in Amenities at Men's, Women's Tournaments

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2021

The NCAA Final Four logo for the NCAA college basketball tournament is painted on a window in downtown Indianapolis, Wednesday, March 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

The NCAA did not dispute the accuracy of pictures that circulated on social media Thursday comparing the amenities available to players in the NCAA men's tournament to those available for players in the NCAA women's tournament.

The pictures showed a greater availability of training equipment for the men. They also showed differences in gifts that were presented to the players.

NCAA vice president Lynn Holzman released the following statement:

"We acknowledge that some of the amenities teams would typically have access to have not been as available inside the controlled environment. In part, this is due to the limited space and the original plan was to expand the workout area once additional space was available later in the tournament. However, we want to be responsive to the needs of our participating teams, and we are actively working to enhance existing resources at practice courts, including additional weight training equipment."

Players such as Sabrina Ionescu, A'ja Wilson, Kelsey Plum and CJ McCollum raised concerns on social media:

Sabrina Ionescu @sabrina_i20

Women’s @NCAA bubble weight room vs Men’s weight room... thought this was a joke. WTF is this?!? To all the women playing in the @marchmadness tournament, keep grinding! https://t.co/K04KTv6s46

A'ja Wilson @_ajawilson22

... nah they tweaking on the swag bag too?!?! https://t.co/tdxx5lOQuc

Kelsey Plum @Kelseyplum10

We want some answers @NCAA who thought this was acceptable???? https://t.co/mOBXQb6OBT

CJ McCollum @CJMcCollum

That’s 🗑 they gotta do better https://t.co/IDSQ5pxPLn

Molly Hensley-Clancy of the Washington Post reported the NCAA acknowledged the differences with one representative saying the initial thought was the smaller convention center available to the women would not have the space to accommodate larger weight rooms and facilities:

Molly Hensley-Clancy @mollyhc

The NCAA isn't arguing with the accuracy of photos showing disparities between the weight facilities for men and women at March Madness. A rep told me the women's convention center is smaller and initially thought not to have space. Officials have now apparently found the space. https://t.co/3Chlk0vbKd

Molly Hensley-Clancy @mollyhc

The NCAA told me it initially thought there was "not enough space" for a high-end weight facility inside the women's team bubble. Here's a video of the current facilities from a Rutgers WBB official: https://t.co/FrChe3lLXH

Henry Bushnell of Yahoo Sports noted men's teams are based in Indiana. Those teams in Indianapolis have a convention center with 12 practice courts and six full-size weight rooms that can be reserved.

The women's tournament is taking place in the San Antonio area.

Bushnell spoke to multiple coaches on the women's side who said they were told they would not have access to weight rooms until the Sweet 16.


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