Mar 19, 2021 - Sports

NCAA blames amenities at women's March Madness on "limited space"

Illustration of a woman's and man's hand holding a basketball together
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

An NCAA spokesperson acknowledged the stark differences in amenities offered to male and female basketball players at March Madness, such as weight rooms and meals, attributing the disparity to "limited space."

Driving the news: Female players and fans took to social media to expose the stark contrast between the facilities provided to them and the elaborate facilities provided to their male counterparts.

  • The men's national tournament started on Thursday and the women's tip-off is set for Sunday.

The most notable example was the large weight training facilities in the men's space compared to a small weight rack for the women.

  • Welcome packages and meal quality were also criticized when compared to the men's tournament.

What they're are saying: A photo of the women's weight room and the men's weight room shared on Twitter by WNBA player Sabrina Ionescu went viral.

  • "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!" Ionescu tweeted.

What the NCAA is saying: "We acknowledge that some of the amenities teams would typically have access to have not been as available inside the controlled environment," said Lynn Holzman, NCAA Vice President of Women's Basketball, in a statement posted on Twitter. "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."

  • Holzman said the association is "actively working to enhance existing resources at practice courts, including additional weight training equipment."

Editor's note: This post has been corrected to say Sabrina Ionescu currently plays in the WNBA, not at Oregon.

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