NCAA committee asks Mark Emmert for independent investigation into disparities at women's tournament

·3 min read

The NCAA's committee for women's sports wants answers about the disparities in treatment between men's college basketball players and women's college basketball players at their respective NCAA tournaments.

The committee wrote a letter to NCAA president Mark Emmert on Friday after numerous differences for the participants in the tournaments were made public earlier in the week. In a statement Thursday, the NCAA said it was "working to enhance" the accommodations at the women's tournament. And now the committee wants to know why there were so many discrepancies in accommodations in the first place.

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“The NCAA has acknowledged that this is ‘disrespectful,’” NCAA committee on women’s athletics chair Suzette McQueen wrote. “In the committee’s view, it is more than that. It undermines the NCAA’s authority as a proponent and guarantor of Title IX protections, and it sets women’s college athletics back across the country.”

In addition to the independent investigation, McQueen’s letter also requests “appropriate action” be taken after the investigation makes its findings.

In an interview with reporters Friday, Emmert said that it was "inexcusable" that there were such big chasms between the tournaments. From The Athletic:

He said the committees responsible for planning the two tournaments, usually conducted in concert, communicated less than they normally would because COVID-19 forced a quick turnaround. “But let me be clear,’’ Emmert said. “This is a miss. The communication clearly should have been there.’’

Inadequate workout facilities and more

The men's tournament is being held in the state of Indiana while the women's tournament is in San Antonio. Those in Texas were contrasting their accommodations with what the men had in Indiana. The women's weight room facilities were sparsely equipped — to put it nicely — compared to a fantastic setup for the men and pictures posted on social media seemed to show that even the gift bag given to the women participating in the tournament contained fewer items than the gift bag for men's players.

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The discrepancy may even extend to the COVID tests given to the men's and women's players and coaches. UConn coach Geno Auriemma said that those at the men's tournament were being given PCR tests while the women's tournament had antigen tests. PCR tests are more sensitive and can be more accurate than antigen tests.

The disparities between the tournaments has drawn attention from athletes throughout sports. San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert was among the group to chime in on social media.

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Hopefully it doesn't take long for the NCAA to figure out why things are so different between the women's and men's tournaments. And no matter what the reason, even if it's simply a lack of oversight, those differences are unacceptable.

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