The NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments are taking place and creating excitement among fans. However, there has been a recent outcry due to the vast differences in training rooms. The male athletes have access to a fully-stocked gym while the female athletes initially had a single set of dumbbells to share.
The differences first came to light when University of Oregon forward Sedona Prince posted a video on social media. She showed one single set of dumbbells before walking to the men's training room to show the difference. The male athletes had access to rows and rows of squat racks, complete with barbells and bumper weights. The male athletes also had access to several sets of dumbbells.
Let me put it on Twitter too cause this needs the attention pic.twitter.com/t0DWKL2YHR— Sedona Prince (@sedonaprince_) March 19, 2021
"Now when pictures of our weight room got released versus the men's, the NCAA came out with a statement saying that it wasn't money, it was space that was the problem," Prince explained in her video. "Let me show y'all something else." She then panned the camera to show a massive training room that was completely empty except for the single set of dumbbells.
When this video surfaced on social media, there were several prominent figures that strongly criticized the NCAA. Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry wrote "wow-come on now" before saying that the NCAA was "trippin." Former WNBA star Sabrina Ionescu said that she thought the differences were a joke.
"We fell short this year in what we've been doing to prepare in the last 60 days for 64 teams to be here in San Antonio, and we acknowledge that," Lynn Holzman, the NCAA’s vice president of women’s basketball, said as reported by ABC News. The NCAA vowed to improve the facilities available to the athletes in San Antonio.
Following the public outcry, a new weight room became available to the first- and second-round teams. There were new benches, dumbbell sets, treadmills, spin bikes, and squat racks. However, the discussion continued as several prominent figures criticized the fact that it took an outcry to get new equipment.
"There is no answer that the NCAA executive leadership led by Mark Emmert can give to explain the disparities," South Carolina women's coach Dawn Staley wrote on Friday. "Mark Emmert and his team point blank chose to create them! The real issue is not the weights or the ‘swag’ bags. It’s that they did not think or do not think that the women’s players “deserve” the same amenities of the men."