NCAA to address inequity between men and women basketball teams
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Just as March Madness gets underway, the NCAA is coming under fire due to dramatic inequities between men’s and women’s basketball. Michigan State women’s basketball coach Suzy Merchant and her players are speaking out.
“There’s plenty of money to go around. They should invest in women and they should invest in it the same way they do the men,” said Coach Merchant.
Many women’s collegiate basketball players and coaches are upset after some athletes took to social media to show what they believe to be favoritism for men’s basketball by the NCAA.
“This is our weight room. Let me show you all the men’s weight room,” said Coach Merchant.
The NCAA held a virtual press conference to address the issue.
“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,” said NCAA Vice President of Women’s Basketball Lynn Holzman.
“I apologize and feel terrible about anything that fell short about our lofty expectations,” said Dan Gavitt, NCAA Senior Vice President.
The NCAA posted the following on the official Facebook account:
“It’s just sad to see that many years later that the men still get treated a different way and the ladies, of course, we get treated a different way,” said Janai Crooms, an MSU women’s basketball player.
According to Janai, it shouldn’t have to be through social media or even national headlines to bring about equality in men and women’s basketball.
“It starts with the little stuff like food and gear. I didn’t even get my t-shirt until yesterday! Why does it always have to start with social media> Why can’t it just come straight from the beginning? Just equality,” said Crooms.
According to equal rights attorney Jill Zwagerman, there are many laws like Title IX which protect women’s athletics from discrimination at the collegiate level. However, they don’t apply to the NCAA.
“They aren’t required to follow Title IX. It is only the colleges and universities. Education facilities. Since they’re not considered an education facility, they aren’t required to follow Title IX,” said Attorney Zwagerman.
With the women’s tournament starting on Sunday, the NCAA has vowed to remedy the situation.
Right now, the NCAA men’s tournament allows 68 teams while the women’s only allows 64.
The NCAA also pays for the men’s NLT tournament but not the women’s.
While the leaders of the organization did not have an answer as to why, they did say they would address the imbalance.
Copyright 2021 WILX. All rights reserved.