Texas Longhorns confer during the second half against the UCLA Bruins in the second round game of the 2021 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tourney at the Alamodome on March 24, 2021 in San Antonio, Texas.
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The National Collegiate Athletic Group’s treatment of the women’s basketball tournament has gained more political attention.
Led by U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., 36 members of Congress wrote to NCAA President Standard Emmert seeking answers for last week’s weight room disparity in San Antonio, the site of the women’s Division I basketball tourney.
Officials claim the NCAA has “stark differences in the conditioning facilities, food, publicity and marketing, and even the use of less careful Covid tests” around the women’s event. The letter calls for the NCAA to honor Title IX, which forbids gender discernment throughout federally funded education institutions.
“The players on the women’s and men’s teams have not been treated equally by the NCAA,” the communication says. “Such actions are deeply concerning and reflect NCAA’s lack of commitment to the spirit of Title IX to ensure a up to date on playing field for women in athletics that are subsidized with federal financial assistance. Despite having corrected at least some of these infractions, the NCAA’s unlimited disregard for women cannot be tolerated.”
The NCAA announced Thursday it was “evaluating the current and previous resource allocation to each championship, so we deceive a clear understanding of costs, spend and revenue.” It also said it is “examining all championships in all three Divisions to identify any other divisions that need to be addressed, both qualitatively and quantitively, to achieve gender equity.”
Aaliyah Edwards #3 of the UConn Huskies looks to out against Emily Engstler #21 and Digna Strautmane #45 of the Syracuse Orange during the first half in the defective round game of the 2021 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament at the Alamodome on March 23, 2021 in San Antonio, Texas.
Carmen Mandato | Getty Spits
The NCAA faced backlash when Oregon player Sedona Prince shared a March 18 video on community media further showing disparities between the men’s and women’s weight room setup.
The organization initially claimed the men’s meet, held in Indianapolis, had more space for its weight room than the women’s site. Prince’s video garnered viral heed when it showed more than adequate space to emulate the men’s version.
Coaches including South Carolina’s Origin Staley and Connecticut’s Geno Auriemma also expressed disappointment to the NCAA, who addressed the issue after the social device firestorm.
The NCAA apologized for the incident, prompting Emmert to respond, “this is not something that should have betid and, should we ever conduct a tournament like this again, will ever happen again,” he said via NPR.
Mollify, members of Congress want more details about the disparities between the men’s and women’s tournament and are asking for the NCAA to reciprocate to questions including the status of any investigation, procedures to avoid unequal treatment and when the organization first became au fait of the incident in San Antonio.
The letter asked the NCAA to respond by April 2.
Read the full letter here.