The NCAA needs to do better for women’s teams
It’s no secret that the world of sports is sexist.
Recently a picture revealed how different the weight rooms were for the NCAA men’s basketball teams vs women’s basketball teams. The men’s team had a giant room with a variety of weights. Meanwhile, the women’s team had a few sets of dumbbells.
The contrast was almost comical, as if it were in a satirical sketch about gender inequality in sports. This isn’t the first time the NCAA has screwed women over, and it’s time that they do better.
Back in March, a Stanford University coach posted an Instagram photo comparing the workout rooms for the men’s basketball tournament vs the women’s. The men’s room was huge with a vast quantity of different types of weights. The women’s room featured a table with yoga and a small rack of dumbbells. There were no benches for bench pressing or any other equipment like the men had.
This caused a great deal of controversy. More came out about the unequal treatment between the teams, such as the women’s team being tested for coronavirus with antigen tests, which are less accurate than the PCR tests the men were being given.
The NCAA ended up apologizing and giving the women’s team a new weight room thankfully. It’s good they apologized and fixed the problem. However, it does show a pattern of the NCAA not taking women’s sports seriously.
The NCAA neglects women’s sports, which is why there’s much more attention paid to men’s college sports. The NCAA gives less money to women’s sports than men’s. In 2017, there was a 10 percent difference in the money that is allocated to men’s sports than women’s.
Some people say that men’s sports are more popular because men are better. How are women athletes supposed to get “better” if they’re not given the same tools as men?
Some of this funding may be unequal because of football’s supremacy in college sports. But even more money is given to recruitment for men’s than women’s even though it shouldn’t cost more to put men on planes than women. They are clearly prioritizing male athletes over female ones.
Women athletes are often used in the NCAA commercials. So they care about portraying their image as inclusive but not doing it in practice.
Some make the argument women athletes receiving a bad weight room makes sense since the women’s tournament makes less money than the men’s. It is true that the women’s basketball tournament makes less money, but the NCAA touts itself as a non profit organization that organizes sports for the athletes themselves, not the pockets of its executives. It needs to start acting like it.
Women athletes often get the short end of the stick and it’s important to support them so they can be the best they can be. Unfortunately, the NCAA doesn’t prioritize this. They don’t seem to prioritize the well being of a lot of their athletes. They are happy to make money off of college students, but those college students are likely not going to see much of a return.
The NCAA is a powerful organization and many students have no choice often but to try and get a sports scholarship.The NCAA needs to start practicing what they preach and prioritize its athletes over profit.
Anna Baker is an English junior who can be reached at [email protected]