To The NCAA…


Victoria Sterinsky

      I sat there on the couch staring in disbelief as I turned on ESPN to find a cornhole game being played. The biggest women’s NCAA soccer game of the year, and I could not find it anywhere on television. Flipping through the channels for ten minutes, I was searching for this game that was televised on an unknown network. ESPNU is a channel that only some providers have. This issue goes way beyond this game and is something that has been a common topic of discussion by all female athletes. Women’s sports deserve to get just as much attention as men’s, and there needs to be a change in the inequalities shown by all. 

        Quite frankly, the number of disparities we see between men’s and women’s sports is truly sad. Really, they get the slightest bit of attention when there is an obvious slight against them. During the 2021 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, there was a huge amount of controversy regarding the weight room that was provided for the athletes by the NCAA. A Tik Tok posted by Oregon Women’s Basketball star Sedona Prince revealed a video showing the weight room. 

      In the video was a rack of only six dumbbells along with a table of yoga mats next to it. It was located in a small corner they found in the hotel. The other part was a video of the men’s weight room. This video was much different than the first. This weight room included over 20 benches, multiple racks filled with many dumbbells, regular weights for deadlifting, and  – most importantly –  they had a huge ballroom dedicated for their weight room. 

       Eventually, the facilities were upgraded, but only after the players, coaches, and fans criticized them. NCAA President Mark Emmert said in an interview with reporters, “I want to be really clear, this is not something that should have happened and, should we ever conduct a tournament like this again, will ever happen again.”  While the “NCAA’s Vice President of Women’s Basketball, Lynn Holzman, acknowledged in a press briefing that the organization “fell short.” She added that the NCAA had originally intended for women to have access to a full weight room once their teams had reached the third round of the tournament. The men’s teams have access to a full weight room during the entirety of their tournament runs”. Had this not come to the NCAA’s attention nothing would have been done. Which is the saddest part. The fact that it takes confrontation for a change is absurd. If the NCAA had got it right the first time there would be no issues.

      So to the NCAA get it right this year. There should not be such a separation between Men’s and Women’s sports. Women deserve better, they do everything the men do and more. There needs to be a change and that change starts with you.