Many basketball players and NCAA employees have drawn public attention to the inequality and substandard facilities at the NCAA tournament site in Texas.
In a post on Thursday, Stanford University athletic performance coach Ali Kirchner shared photos of a small dumbbell rack – the women’s weight room – along with a picture of a vast space with chairs, shelves, and iron weights – the men’s weight room.
“[T]Needs to be addressed, ”Kirschner Wrote.
“These women want and deserve to have the same opportunities. Not only that – 3 weeks in a bubble and inaccessibility to databases over the age of thirty to sixteen years old? In a year defined by the struggle for equality, this is an opportunity to have a conversation and a better.”
Lynn Holzman, NCAA vice president for women’s basketball, acknowledged in a statement Thursday, “that some comfort teams usually have no access to them within the controlled environment.
“This is partly due to the limited space and the original plan was to expand the rehearsal area as soon as more space became available later in the tournament,” she added. “However, we want to be responsive to the needs of our participating teams, and are actively promoting the existing resources in the practice grounds, including additional weight training equipment.”
But on Friday, Oregon player Sedona Prince disputed the claim that there was no space for women to get a par on the weight room.
“This is our weight room,” Prince said in a NBC News-verified TikTok video showing a small shelf. “This is the men’s weight room,” she says, as she wanders across a vast space with exercise seats, shelves and many other weights.
She also appeared to debunk the NCAA claim that the discrepancy was due to lack of space, as she moved the camera to show a large, empty space around the weight rack.
“If you are not bothered by this problem, you are part of it,” Prince said.
The NCAA did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday, however NBC News reported San Antonio Holzman told reporters that the NCAA had “failed” to provide fair accommodation to female basketball players and had promised improvements by Saturday morning.