UConn women's basketball head coach Geno Auriemma told reporters this week that his players receive daily antigen tests for COVID-19 while the men's basketball team is given a daily PCR test, considered the better and more reliable test, per Jordan Mendoza of USA Today.
On Friday, NCAA commissioner Mark Emmert responded to the difference in the tests and the criticism that has followed the organizing body's decision to give men's and women's basketball players different tests.
"I'm not a medical expert so not going to get into a debate about PCR and antigen," he told reporters, per Mendoza. "All the health experts said the protocol that we're using in all of our venues and all of our championships has no [difference] at all in terms of our ability to mitigate risk,"
Antigen tests have a "higher chance of missing an active infection," per the FDA, while Memorial Healthcare described the PCR test as the "gold standard" for testing since it "actually detects RNA (or genetic material) that is specific to the virus and can detect the virus within days of infection, even those who have no symptoms," per Mendoza.
The news that the men and women are receiving different tests was met with immediate backlash:
It comes in the same week that Stanford sports performance coach Ali Kershner and Oregon forward Sedona Prince revealed that the men were given access to a large weight room during their tournament, while the women were provided with only a small rack of dumbells:
There have also been discrepancies in the food served to the men compared to the women and the swag bags given out by the NCAA.
NCAA vice president Lynn Holzman released a statement saying the organizing body wants "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."