SAN ANTONIO – The NCAA on Friday morning addressed disparities between the men’s and women’s Division I basketball tournaments after several issues with the women’s tournament in San Antonio surfaced on social media.
Lynn Holzman, NCAA VP of women’s basketball, admitted the NCAA and women’s committee fell short in some areas of preparation prior to the tournament’s start on Sunday.
“We fell short this year in what we’ve been doing to prepare in the last 60 days for 64 teams to be here in San Antonio, and we acknowledge that,” Holzman said.
Holzman specifically addressed a viral tweet and video posted by University of Oregon forward Sedona Prince. In the video, Prince shows a designated training and weight room area at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center with only one set of dumbbells. The video then shows what she said was a men’s training area in Indiana filled with weights and workout machines.
Prince said the video demonstrated the overall differences in treatment of the women’s and men’s teams.
Let me put it on Twitter too cause this needs the attention pic.twitter.com/t0DWKL2YHR— Sedona Prince (@sedonaprince_) March 19, 2021
Dan Gavitt, Senior VP of Basketball for the NCAA, took the blame for the issue and said he and the NCAA “dropped the ball on the weight room issue” and would use this opportunity to improve internally.
Gavitt said some of the issues have been the result of working remotely, but “we can do better, we have to do better and make sure it’s a priority.”
Nina King, chair of the women’s basketball committee, said they fell short of expectations.
“We need to make it doesn’t happen again, and we will address the shortfalls here in San Antonio and moving forward,” King said.
The women’s committee and NCAA held a conference call on Thursday night with coaches and administrators to reinforce there would be immediate changes now that all 64 women’s teams in San Antonio have come out of quarantine.
“We’re trying to do the right thing and we’ve adjusted on the fly now that we’re here in San Antonio,” Holzman said.
The committee was also asked about the quality of food for the women’s teams compared to the men’s teams. Holzman said they have addressed the issues with food in San Antonio hotels and have more outside food options available for teams after the initial quarantine period.
The Athletic also previously reported that several coaches and players with women’s teams believe the NCAA did not do enough to accommodate the children of staff and coaches traveling to San Antonio. The committee leaders did not address that report on Friday morning.
The women’s tournament starts on Sunday. It will be played in three San Antonio locations, Austin and San Marcos.