This is the most exciting week in college basketball, with both the men’s and women’s NCAA Tournaments kicking off the nearly month-long journey of March Madness. As they fight for a championship, the men’s teams have been located in a bubble in Indianapolis and the women are in San Antonio preparing for the opening rounds of their respective tournaments, which will conclude in early April.
Leading up to both tournaments, the disparities between the facilities and amenities provided for the men and women have been a hot topic, sparking further disappointment among collegiate players and people throughout the sports world towards the NCAA’s treatment of athletes.
On Thursday, Oregon’s Sedona Prince shared a video on Twitter comparing the women’s and men’s weight rooms in the bubble location. This comes after photos and video recently surfaced showcasing the disparities in meals provided at each location, with the women being provided pre-packaged food while the men were offered catered meals.
In response to this video and other photos and videos recently surfacing, athletes throughout the sports world have spoken out against the NCAA’s unequal treatment of athletes.
Collier and Brown took to Instagram and commented on the situation through their Instagram stories. Collier said, “disappointed but not surprised @ncaa” and Brown adding she “woke up still mad about this… .” Achonwa went to Twitter to express her disappointment with the NCAA.
The frustration hasn’t been isolated to just the WNBA and women athletes. On Thursday, current ESPN analyst and former Duke and Chicago Bulls guard Jay Williams said the treatment of athletes, and women especially, is “embarrassing for the NCAA.” Other athletes and NBA players have also spoken out about this topic, including high-profile players like Stephen Curry.
In a response to the widespread condemnation, the NCAA came out with a statement on Thursday saying they will address the issue — basically saying We’re sorry we got caught, and I guess we should fix this.
This latest example of mistreatment sparks further frustration among athletes as the NCAA. Its March Madness brand continues to go grow in stature over the years without much benefit to the players themselves. This isn’t just an isolated instance of the NCAA treating its athletes poorly, and it goes beyond just basketball.
However, when it comes specifically to basketball, we’ve seen a battle between players and the league for years. That includes female players expressing frustration in the amenities they are provided and the treatment they receive and male players looking to bypass the NCAA entirely to play in either the G-League or overseas.
Athletes throughout the sports world, including women college basketball players and WNBA players who were once in those same shoes, should be upset about this. It proves yet again that the NCAA just doesn’t get it. Now, it’s just finally getting exposed on a broader scale.