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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.

Go deeper

Jan 12, 2022 - Sports

The story of trans Penn swimmer Lia Thomas

Penn's Lia Thomas during a meet with Yale and Dartmouth on Saturday. Photo: Hunter Martin/Getty Images

Lia Thomas, a 22-year-old transgender woman who swims for the University of Pennsylvania, is dominating in the pool this season.

Why it matters: Thomas' record-breaking campaign comes amid a debate over transgender inclusion in sport — one that has become increasingly politicized as anti-trans legislation sweeps across the U.S.

3 hours ago - Sports

Gonzaga University revokes NBA great John Stockton's tickets over mask stance

Former Utah Jazz player John Stockton during a 2017 press conference in Salt Lake City. Photo: Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

Gonzaga University suspended the season tickets of notable alumni John Stockton after the NBA Hall of Famer failed to comply with the school's basketball games mask mandate, the Spokesman-Review first reported.

Driving the news: "Basically, it came down to, they were asking me to wear a mask to the games and being a public figure, someone a little bit more visible, I stuck out in the crowd a little bit," the former Utah Jazz point guard told the outlet in an interview Saturday.

Updated 4 hours ago - World

State Department orders evacuation of U.S. diplomats' families from Ukraine

From left, undersecretary for political affairs Victoria Nuland, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. chargés d'affaires in Ukraine Kristina Kvien during a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in Kyiv. Photo: Yevhen Liubimov/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

The State Department will begin evacuating families and nonessential staff from the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv this week, according to a travel advisory published Sunday evening.

Why it matters: The move underscores U.S. fears that a Russian invasion could destabilize Ukraine and threaten the embassy's ability to assist Americans.