Athletes at the NCAA women’s basketball tournament in Texas created dissent on Thursday by illustrating the difference between the workout equipment between the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.
Oregon basketball player Sedona Prince posted a video on her Twitter and TikTok accounts showing a rack of small free weights, and compared it to the expansive gyms men’s basketball players have at their gyms ahead of this week’s March Madness tournaments.
Let me put it on Twitter too cause this needs the attention pic.twitter.com/t0DWKL2YHR— Sedona Prince (@sedonaprince_) March 19, 2021
On Friday, Dick’s Sporting Goods prepared a truckload of equipment ready to send to the NCAA. According to a company spokesperson, Dick’s “assembled an array of fitness and strength products: weights, treadmills, stationary bikes, foam rollers, weight racks, etc. and loaded up several trucks.”
@NCAA Our teammates have worked quickly to get truckloads of fitness equipment ready to send to the women’s @ncaawbb @marchmadness bubble – we are standing by to deliver it and have your facility outfitted within hours! Let’s make this happen. pic.twitter.com/6QJJjrrDgx— DICK'S Sporting Goods (@DICKS) March 19, 2021
As of late Friday, Dick’s Sporting Goods is still awaiting a response.
“We reached out to the NCAA several times since noon this morning but have not yet heard back. It’s a shame because we could have had the products delivered earlier this afternoon, and my guess is the women still don’t have the equipment they need,” the spokesperson said. “We just want to support the women’s teams in any way we can. They deserve equal treatment.”
Planet Fitness also got in on the moment by tweeting that it has equipment ready for the NCAA’s use.
The NCAA has not responded to our request for comment.
The NCAA did issue an apology late Thursday after Prince’s video garnered support from across the sports world.
"We acknowledge that some of amenities teams would typically have access to have not been as available inside the controlled environment," Lynn Holzman, NCAA vice president of women’s basketball, said in a statement. "In part, this is due to the limited space and the original plan was to expand the workout area once additional space was available later in the tournament. However, we want to be responsive to the needs of our participating teams and we are actively working to enhance existing resources at practice courts, including additional weight training equipment."
The NCAA issued an updated statement on Friday saying it was still examining how to provide players with more equipment. The NCAA said it expects to address the situation by Saturday morning.
Also at issue were the gifts and food the NCAA provide players for participating in the NCAA Tournament.
Holzman claimed that the value of gifts and food are equal.