The NCAA Got Called Out For Giving Women's Teams An Absurdly Different Weight Room For March Madness
Pictures on social media show a sprawling facility for men, but a single stack of weights for women.
Images on social media have prompted backlash against the NCAA for providing very different exercise facilities for men's and women's teams participating in the March Madness tournaments.
Men's and women's college basketball teams are currently in separate bubbles in Indianapolis and San Antonio, respectively, for the tournaments. Each facility includes a weight lifting area for athletes, but the difference in the quality of those facilities is stark.
Ali Kershner, a coach at Stanford, posted photos on Instagram showing the discrepancy.
The above image is the facilities for men's teams — a large area with multiple benches, weight, and squat racks. Below is the women's facility — a single stand of light dumbbells and some exercise mats.
"@ncaawbb @ncaa @marchmadness this needs to be addressed. These women want and deserve to be given the same opportunities," Kershner said in the post.
"In a year defined by a fight for equality this is a chance to have a conversation and get better."
The photos have prompted an outcry from fans as well as former NCAA players and current WNBA stars. Las Vegas Aces player A'ja Wilson called the situation "beyond disrespectful."
Sabrina Ionescu, who plays for the New York Liberty, tweeted, "WTF is this?!?"
In a statement posted on Twitter, NCAA's vice president of women's basketball said they "acknowledge that some of the amenities teams would typically have access to have not been as available inside the controlled environment."
The statement, which did not include an apology, said this was "in part" due to space restrictions and that the plan was to expand facilities as the tournament continues.
That explanation, however, is not sitting well with players. Sedona Prince, who plays for Oregon, posted a TikTok showing the men's facility, but also the surplus of unused space at the women's facility.
"If you aren't upset about this problem, then you're a part of it," she says in the video.
The NCAA did not respond to a request for further comment from BuzzFeed News.