March Madness: Gender Discrepancies


Photo via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons License

In 2016, the UCONN Huskies won the female NCAA tournament against Syracuse.

Katie Barrow, Writer

As the 2021 NCAA tournament comes to a close, let’s recap some of the blatant inequalities that the female basketball players received. 

On March 18th, Oregon Ducks female basketball player, Sedona Prince exposed the women’s minuscule weight room, comprising of only one set of dumbbells and a stack of yoga mats, in comparison to the men’s world-class, professional weight room. The men’s apparel and gifts were also in a much larger supply. As far as food, the men had an indulgent buffet compared to the women’s grayish meat. 

Lynn Holzman, the NCAA’s vice president of women’s basketball, apologized for the women’s disparities by saying “We fell short this year in what we’ve been doing to prepare in the last 60 days for 64 for teams to be here in San Antonio, and we acknowledge that.” Since then, the NCAA acquired a proper weight room for the women.

However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. ABC News remarks that the women lacked advertising in their tournament location, San Antonio. Meanwhile, in Indianapolis, there is no shortage of Men’s March Madness advertising; you can find “Final Four” written all over the city.

Additionally, NCAA’s logos read “NCAA Women’s Basketball,” while men’s are simply “March Madness,” suggesting that male basketball is the default sport

Some people may argue that “no one even watches female professional basketball, so why should the NCAA support them.” However, ThinkProgress did a week-long study on men versus women’s March Madness coverage, and men’s basketball took up 72 percent of the college basketball coverage on the NCAA’s front page that week.” 

Perhaps more fans would tune into the women’s games if they were better advertised and had more screen time on ESPN, the main sports channel.

To read more March Madness articles, check out “March Madness: The Chaos of the Round of 64” and “March Madness: How COVID Changes the Tournament?.”