The NCAA is taking heat from student-athletes participating in both its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.
After the men’s #NotNCAAProperty movement gained traction on social media, the women documented the almost nonexistent workout space in their closed environment in San Antonio, Texas. With both tournaments moving to one geographic area due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the athletes are primarily confined to their hotels or workout areas.
Oregon sophomore Sedona Prince shared a video of the women’s “weight room,” which appeared to be a small stack of small dumbbells next to a table holding several yoga mats. According to The Washington Post’s Molly Hensley-Clancy, the NCAA doesn’t dispute the photos of the weight rooms circulating around social media.
“The NCAA isn’t arguing with the accuracy of photos showing disparities between the weight facilities for men and women at March Madness,” Hensley-Clancy tweeted about the difference between the women’s space and the men’s in Indianapolis. “A rep told me the women’s convention center is smaller and initially thought not to have space. Officials have now apparently found the space.”
Former Oregon player Sabrina Ionescu, the No. 1 pick in the 2020 WNBA draft, said “’Limited space’ they say…” in a video showing ample room next to the dumbbells.
Hensley-Clancy later posted a full statement from NCAA vice president Lynn Holzman, who stated the NCAA was working on adding more to the women’s workout space.
“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 court, including additional weight training equipment.”
The Athletic’s Chantel Jennings tweeted that women’s teams that reach the Sweet 16 are scheduled to have access to two bikes, one treadmill, two half racks with pull up bar, five adjustable benches, two sets of dumbbells, two Olympic bars, eight sets of 45-pound Olympic plates, eight sets of 25-pound Olympic plates, eight sets of 10-pound Olympic plates, five jump ropes, 10 yoga mats, two dumbbell racks and two horizontal plate racks.
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