Women’s basketball players blast NCAA for paltry weight room, meager swag bag ahead of March Madness


The NCAA has acknowledged that women’s basketball teams at the Division I Tournament were provided with less access to weights and other equipment than their male counterparts after several players and coaches posted pictures of the contrasting conditions on social media.

Both the men’s 68-team field in Indianapolis and the women’s 64-team field in San Antonio are conducting their respective tournaments in a single location due to pandemic restrictions. While there have been some logistical complaints at both venues, social media posts showing the women’s practically non-existent weight room and meager swag bags quickly went viral. 

The NCAA is not disputing the social media pictures depicting the disparity between the men’s and women’s weight rooms, according to the Washington Post’s Molly Hensley-Clancy. 

In a statement, NCAA vice president Lynn Holzman said that the issue in San Antonio had to do with limited space and more areas would be opening up as teams were eliminated over the course of the tournament.  

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According to Oregon's Prince, 'If you aren't upset about this problem, then you are a part of it'

Oregon star Sedona Prince showed off the women’s weight room (left) and compared it to the men’s (right), saying: ‘If you aren’t upset about this problem, then you are a part of it’

Several women's players were quick to point out that their swag bag was significantly smaller than the men's.u00A0 'The men have everything in that weight room and we have yoga mats,'u00A0South Carolina star Aliyah Boston said. 'What are we supposed to do that. The bags, I'm glad we got a body wash, but they got a whole store'

Several women’s players were quick to point out that their swag bag was significantly smaller than the men’s.  ‘The men have everything in that weight room and we have yoga mats,’ South Carolina star Aliyah Boston said. ‘What are we supposed to do that. The bags, I’m glad we got a body wash, but they got a whole store’

Men's players in Indianapolis all received the same swag bag (above) for playing in the tourney

Men’s players in Indianapolis all received the same swag bag (above) for playing in the tourney

NCAA vice president Lynn Holzman said the issue had to do with limited space and more areas would be opening up as teams were eliminated over the course of the tournament

NCAA vice president Lynn Holzman said the issue had to do with limited space and more areas would be opening up as teams were eliminated over the course of the tournament

The NCAA's excuse did not fly with several top players, including Oregon star Sedona Prince (pictured)

Prince showed the women's practice court (pictured), which included enough empty space for an array of exercise equipment that would have been comparable to the men's weights in Indy

The NCAA’s excuse did not fly with several top players, including Oregon star Sedona Prince (left). ‘Now when pictures of our weight room got released vs. the men’s, the NCAA came out with a statement saying that it wasn’t money, it was space that was the problem,’ said Prince. She then showed the women’s practice court (right), which included enough empty space for an array of exercise equipment that would have been comparable to the men’s weights in Indy

The NCAA acknowledged the issue, according to the Washington Post's Molly Hensley-Clancy

The NCAA acknowledged the issue, according to the Washington Post’s Molly Hensley-Clancy

‘We acknowledge that some of the amenities teams would typically have access to have not been as available inside the controlled environment,’ Holzman told the Post in a statement. ‘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.

‘However, we want to be responsive to the needs of our participating teams, and we are actively working to enhance existing resources at practice courts, including additional weight training equipment.’ 

That excuse did not fly with several top players, including Oregon star Sedona Prince.

‘I got something to show y’all,’ Prince said in a social media video.

‘So, for the NCAA March Madness, the biggest tournament in college basketball for women, this is our weight room,’ she continued, pointing her camera at a single stack of free weights.

The clip then moves to footage of the men’s weight room in Indianapolis, showing modern weight machines evenly spaced across a large indoor area.

‘Lemme show y’all the men’s weight room,’ she continued. ‘Now when pictures of our weight room got released vs. the men’s, the NCAA came out with a statement saying that it wasn’t money, it was space that was the problem.’

Finally, Prince showed the women’s practice court, which included enough empty space for an array of exercise equipment that would have been comparable to the men’s weights in Indianapolis.

‘If you aren’t upset about this problem, then you are a part of it,’ she concluded.

South Carolina forward Aliyah Boston said the NCAA is not treating women's players fairly

South Carolina forward Aliyah Boston said the NCAA is not treating women’s players fairly

Indianapolis, IN, USA; A giant banner showing the tournament bracket hangs from the J.W. Marriott hotel as Indianapolis prepares to host the 2021 NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament on Wednesday.u00A0Indianapolis is hosting the entire tournament this year from the First Four to the National Championship game due to the coronavirus pandemic

Indianapolis, IN, USA; A giant banner showing the tournament bracket hangs from the J.W. Marriott hotel as Indianapolis prepares to host the 2021 NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament on Wednesday. Indianapolis is hosting the entire tournament this year from the First Four to the National Championship game due to the coronavirus pandemic

As the tourney progresses, the NCAA says women's team will have access to more equipment

As the tourney progresses, the NCAA says women’s team will have access to more equipment

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry immediately backed Prince, tweeting: ‘wow-come on now @marchmadness @NCAA yall trippin trippin.’

Prince was hardly the only one pointing out the disparities between the men’s and women’s facilities in Indianapolis and San Antonio. 

In a Twitter post, Stanford sports performance coach for women’s basketball Ali Kershner posted a photo of a single stack of weights next to a training table with sanitized yoga mats, comparing it to pictures of massive facilities for the men with stacks of free weights, dumbbells and squat racks.

Several of the top women's basketball players see it as a bigger issue than just a subpar weight room. 'We are all grateful to be here and it took a lot of effort for them to put this all together,' UConn freshman All-American Paige Bueckers (pictured) said on an AP Twitter chat Thursday night

Several of the top women’s basketball players see it as a bigger issue than just a subpar weight room. ‘We are all grateful to be here and it took a lot of effort for them to put this all together,’ UConn freshman All-American Paige Bueckers (pictured) said on an AP Twitter chat Thursday night

‘These women want and deserve to be given the same opportunities,’ Kershner tweeted. ‘In a year defined by a fight for equality, this is a chance to have a conversation and get better.’

Several of the top women’s basketball players see it as a bigger issue than just a subpar weight room.

‘We are all grateful to be here and it took a lot of effort for them to put this all together,’ UConn freshman All-American Paige Bueckers said on an AP Twitter chat Thursday night. 

‘It’s more of a principle thing. It’s not just a weight room that’s a problem. It’s the inequality of the weight rooms that’s the problem. There’s another tweet going around with the swag bag. It’s not just the weight room. It’s the inequalities and the better stuff the men get.’

South Carolina star Aliyah Boston agreed with Bueckers about the inequities, which included a relatively meager swag bag.

‘The men have everything in that weight room and we have yoga mats,’ she said. ‘What are we supposed to do that. The bags, I’m glad we got a body wash, but they got a whole store.’

The current players got a lot of support from several top former college and current WNBA players who quickly tweeted support for the women and criticism of the NCAA.

‘That NCAA bubble weight room situation is beyond disrespectful,’ tweeted A’ja Wilson, who led South Carolina to the 2017 national championship and now plays for the Las Vegas Aces in the WNBA. 

Holzman said the governing body would try to quickly improve the equipment available at the women’s tournament. 

‘We acknowledge that some of the amenities teams would typically have access to have not been as available inside the controlled environment. 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. 

‘However, we want to be responsive to the needs of our participating teams, and we are actively working to enhance existing resources at practice courts, including additional weight training equipment.’

In Indianapolis, men's teams were dining on lobster mac & cheese and a petite filet

In Indianapolis, men’s teams were dining on lobster mac & cheese and a petite filet 



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