Oregon WBB player exposes NCAA weight room discrepancy
SAN ANTONIO, TX — A perennial powerhouse in college basketball, the Oregon Ducks women’s basketball team remains one of the most highly-regarded programs in the country. So why don’t they get access to the same workout equipment as their male counterparts?
Oregon forward Sedona Prince posted a video to her social media accounts, exposing the NCAA’s double standard between the men’s tournament and the women’s tournament. In it, she showed the weight training amenities available to the young women competing from a bubble in San Antonio.
The women’s “weight room” is a single rack of weights in a giant room with chairs spaced out for social distancing. Prince’s TikTok video showed a full 360 degree turn around the facilities. Then, she showed a video of the men’s weight room, which was fully loaded with high-quality machines to promote peak physical conditioning.
Prince’s video went viral on social media with athletes from all walks of life rallying around the Redshirt Sophomore from Liberty Hill, TX. Her video was reposted by various platforms, including ESPN’s SportsCenter account, which raised tremendous awareness of this discrepancy. She even received support from NBA legend Stephen Curry, who quote tweeted her video with the following: “wow-come on now! @marchmadness @NCA yall trippin tripping.”
The NCAA, which doesn’t pay any of its student-athletes, reported a combined $18.9 billion in total revenue across all athletics departments in 2019. Every year, the NCAA Tournament is the greatest source of revenue that the organization has to offer, drawing tremendous TV sponsorship and commercials deals.
Beyond that, the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament nets roughly $35 million from the NCAA’s deal with ESPN, per the Wall Street Journal. Considering the massive amounts of money the organization makes off of these events every year, women’s basketball advocates expect the NCAA will provide decent accommodations for these talented players.
March Madness is all fun and games until you step back and realize how the NCAA undervalues its athletes, and particularly the young women who put their mental and physical health on the line to compete in this tournament.
The sixth seed in this year’s matchup, the Oregon Ducks are set to begin their tournament challenge on Monday, March 22 at 7:00 p.m. PST against the 11th seed South Dakota Coyotes.
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