NCAA Basketball Player Shows Stark Differences Between Men's and Women's Weight Rooms
Oregon University basketball player Sedona Prince called out the NCAA for disparities between the training areas provided for the men and women's teams set to compete in March Madness.
On Thursday, Prince posted a video to social media that compared the equipment the NCAA provided for the women's and men's teams participating in the 2021 NCAA Basketball Tournament, which started this week in Texas for the women's games and in Indiana for the men's games.
The video appears to show that the women's training area was only provided with six pairs of dumbbells of varying weights, while the men's area was furnished with numerous training racks, bars, plates, dumbbells and benches — pretty much everything one would expect in a proper gym.
"I got something to show y'all," 20-year-old Prince said in the video.
"So, for the NCAA March Madness, the biggest tournament in college basketball for women… This is our weight room," she continued while turning the camera around to the small stack of weights. The camera then cuts to show the men's fully-equipped training area.
"Now when pictures of our weight room got released versus the men's, the NCAA came out with a statement saying that it wasn't money, it was space that was the problem," Prince said before showing a large empty space in the women's area that could fit more equipment.
"If you aren't upset about this problem, then you are a part of it," she added.
The NCAA did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
Prince's video quickly went viral on social media, garnering more than 7 million views after it was uploaded to her Twitter account.
As Prince alluded to in her video, NCAA Vice President of Women's Basketball, Lynn Holzman, released a statement in response to prior criticism of the amenities provided to the women's team. Holzman said the organization was actively "working to enhance" resources at the practice courts.
"We acknowledge that some of the amenities teams would typically have access to have not been as available inside the controlled environment," Holzman said on Thursday before Prince published her video.
"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," Holzman continued. "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."
In a statement posted by The Athletic, NCAA senior vice president of basketball Dan Gavitt apologized for the controversy.
"I apologize to the women's basketball student-athletes, to the coaches, women's basketball committee for dropping the ball, frankly, on the weight room issue in San Antonio," he said. "I apologize and feel terrible about anything that falls short of our lofty expectations. … We'll get it fixed as soon as possible."
The men's and women's tournaments are taking place over the next few weeks with "limited" fan attendance at games due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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