Following pressure from professional athletes, college coaches and players, and fans on social media, the NCAA finally provided adequate workout facilities to the women's basketball teams competing in the NCAA Basketball Tournament in the San Antonio area in Teas. This move also comes one day after NCAA president Mark Emmert called the disparity in exercise facilities available to the men and women "inexcusable."
The official account of NCAA women's basketball posted an image of the new weight room on Saturday. Some social media users pointed out that not only does the existence of this new gym contradict the previous NCAA statement that there was not enough space for a larger gym, but also that the upgraded gym is still smaller than what the men have in Indianapolis.
Images posted to social media Thursday first highlighted the drastic differences between what the men and women were offered for their respective tournaments in terms of a weight room. Stanford sports performance coach Ali Kerschner showed that the women got a meager six pairs of dumbbells and a collection of disinfected yoga mats for their weight room, while the men got something akin to an average gym.
Many notable athletes such as Sue Bird, Sabrina Ionescu, A'ja Wilson, Kyrie Irving and C.J. McCollum called out the inadequate facilities. Even coaches participating in the tournament like Geno Auriemma, Dawn Staley and Muffet McGraw used this moment to highlight how this wasn't a one-time issue, and that women's basketball has been constantly disrespected throughout this time of the year.
That the NCAA eventually turned around and fixed this particular problem could be seen as commendable, but in the eyes of Staley, McGraw and many who are active in the women's college sports and see disparities like this on an annual basis, this is likely more comparable to putting a small bandage on a much larger wound.