After a viral video, the NCAA is under heavy scrutiny because of the significant difference in men's and women's weight room in their respective bubbles. Oregon forward Sedona Prince was the first to take the matter to social media and immediately caught millions' eyes.
Let me put it on Twitter too cause this needs the attention pic.twitter.com/t0DWKL2YHR
— Sedona Prince (@sedonaprince_) March 19, 2021
NCAA vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt apologized in a virtual press conference and said working remotely has caused some miscommunications. This was the NCAA statement released Friday evening.
NCAA releases statement on the weight room and other amenities in the women's bubble: "We fell short this year." pic.twitter.com/1elCZMLjo7
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 19, 2021
It was noted that the NCAA said initially they didn't believe there was enough room in the women's bubble facility for a filled weight room. But as seen in the videos, it was evident space wasn't an issue. Many pro athletes shared their frustration with the matter.
— Sabrina Ionescu (@sabrina_i20) March 18, 2021
— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) March 19, 2021
The inequality didn't stop at the weight room. Pictures of the meals and tournament novelties were also spotlighted.
Here are the differences in amenities/provisions between the Women's & Men's NCAA Tournament I've seen so far
- Weight room/equipment
- Swag Bags
Photos from: @Cpav15, @sedonaprince_, @danhenry3, @alikershner pic.twitter.com/2YfCeXaJNn
— AJ McCord (@AJ_McCord) March 19, 2021
These women deserve the same opportunity as men. It is apparent the NCAA hasn't listened or took the time to this ongoing inequality between men's and women's athletics. South Carolina standout Aliyah Boston said in an AP women's basketball discussion that she and her team felt disrespected. "The men have everything in that weight room, and we have yoga mats," Boston said to AP. "What are we supposed to do that. The bags, I'm glad we got a body wash, but they got a whole store."
NCAA officials apologized for "dropping the ball" after providing women's basketball players with training facilities inferior to men's during the Division 1 tournaments.
Dan Gavitt, senior vice president of basketball for the NCAA, took the blame for the weight room controversy and said it will be fixed "as soon as possible."
"I apologize to women's basketball student-athletes, to the coaches, Women's Basketball Committee for dropping the ball, frankly, on the weight room issue in San Antonio," Gavitt said during Friday's press briefing.