The NCAA acknowledged the discrepancy in amenities between the men's and women's basketball tournaments on Thursday after images posted to social media drew significant backlash.
Pictures surfaced Thursday showing the stark differences in gifts that were presented to women's basketball players compared to men's. Stanford sports performance coach Ali Kershner posted photos of the facilities inside the Indianapolis bubble compared to the San Antonio bubble.
WNBA star Sabrina Ionescu, last year's national player of the year in NCAA women's basketball, fumed over a poor display in the weight room, tweeting: "Women’s @NCAA bubble weight room vs Men’s weight room... thought this was a joke. WTF is this?!? To all the women playing in the @marchmadness tournament, keep grinding!"
The picture showed the plentiful options in an Indianapolis weight room compared to a small rack of dumbbells in San Antonio.
A'ja Wilson, who plays for the Las Vegas Aces in the WNBA, tweeted the "weight room situation is beyond disrespectful."
Sedona Prince, who plays for Oregon, posted a TikTok calling out the disparity between amenities, writing in her caption: "it’s 2021 and we are still fighting for bits and pieces of equality. #ncaa #inequality #fightforchange."
NCAA vice president Lynn Holzman took accountability for the bad look.
"We acknowledge that some of the amenities teams would typically have access to have not been as available inside the controlled environment," Holzman said. "In part, this is due to the limited space and the original plan was to expand the workout area once additional space was available later in the tournament. However, we want to be responsive to the needs of our participating teams, and we are actively working to enhance existing resources at practice courts, including additional weight training equipment."
The "limited space" claim was called into question after a video was posted by a Rutgers staff member of largely vacant facilities.
Tonal, a home gym company which bills itself as the "Ultimate Strength Studio" on its Twitter account, quote-tweeted Prince's message to announce that it was sending 10 Tonal Smart Gyms to San Antonio.
"This is ridiculous. Let’s one up them," the company's tweet said.
An Instagram post from women'shoopz showed that the weight room facilities weren't the only ways the men's and women's bubbles differ.
Contributing: The Indianapolis Star
Follow college basketball reporter Scott Gleeson on Twitter @ScottMGleeson.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: March Madness: NCAA slammed for unequal amenities for men, women