Congress seeking documents from NCAA on college sports gender disparities

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The chairwoman of the Congressional Oversight and Reform Committee, along with two Democratic members of Congress are seeking documents from the NCAA regarding disparities between men's and women's sports.

In a four-page letter to NCAA president Mark Emmert penned by Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) and Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.), they request that NCAA provide a briefing by July 21, 2021, on the full scope of gender disparities among NCAA’s programs, the NCAA’s progress in addressing these disparities and the actions that they plan to take to eliminate them in the future.

The letter cites several gender disparities throughout the year including the stark differences in tournament facilities and inequality in treatment during the men's and women's NCAA basketball tournaments. The letter notes that the Committee on Oversight and Reform has the authority to investigate this matter at any time.

In March, Sherrill led members of Congress in sending a letter to Emmert expressing concerns about this year's NCAA championship tournaments and in reply, Emmert stated that the NCAA had “begun to immediately address and rectify these issues,” citing both an internal review and the retention of a law firm to conduct a “comprehensive, thorough and external review of gender equity issues in connection with the NCAA.”

NCAA president Mark Emmert at the 2019 Men's Final Four in Minneapolis.
NCAA president Mark Emmert at the 2019 Men's Final Four in Minneapolis.

Last month, Speier and Sherrill introduced a resolution to affirm that NCAA is subject to Title IX and must take action to prevent sex discrimination in its activities and programs.

“By failing to invest in and promote women’s athletics programs in the way it does for men, NCAA prevents women’s sports from reaching their full potential,” they wrote.

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The July 21 deadline set by House members requires the NCAA to submit documents about NCAA championship events including details on tournament sites, any complaints filed by participating teams regarding facilities and the budget documents for all 2021 men's and women's tournaments including the details of travel, cost, meals, staffing, funding and publicity. The NCAA holds 90 championships each year.

“Reports of other disparities, including in coronavirus safety protocols and in branding and promotion practices, have raised serious questions about how long-standing NCAA organizational decisions have perpetuated gender inequities in collegiate athletics,” Speier and Sherrill wrote. “These troubling reports suggest the full extent of the unequal treatment caused by NCAA’s policies and practices still may not be known.”

Contact Analis Bailey at aabailey@usatoday.com or on Twitter @analisbailey.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Congress seeks documents from NCAA on college sports gender disparities