The teams had barely arrived in Texas when social media posts erupted with concerns about inequity between the women’s and men’s tournaments, pointing out that the women’s weight training facilities in San Antonio were severely lacking in comparison to the men’s in Indianapolis. The women’s tournament features 64 teams, while the men’s tournament features 68.
Ali Kershner, Stanford’s women’s basketball sports performance coach, shared a picture of a single stack of weights next to a training table with sanitized yoga mats on Twitter, contrasting it with photos of large facilities for men with towers of free weights, dumbbells, and squat racks.
Kershner tweeted, “These women want and deserve the same opportunities.” “In a year marked by a struggle for equality, this is an opportunity to have a dialogue and improve.”
Several of the best female basketball players believe it’s more than just a bad weight room.
UConn freshman All-American Paige Bueckers said on an AP Twitter chat Thursday night, “We are all happy to be here and it took a lot of time for them to bring this all together.” “It’s more of a philosophical problem. It isn’t just an issue in the weight room. The concern is with the inequity of the weight rooms. Another tweet about the swag bag has emerged. It’s not just about the gym. It’s the disparities and the better treatment that men receive.”
Aliyah Boston of South Carolina agreed with Bueckers on the inequities.
She said, “The men have all in that weight room, and we have yoga mats.” “How are we going to go about doing that? I’m glad we got some body wash, but they got an entire store.”
Several top former college and current WNBA players quickly tweeted support for the women and criticism of the NCAA, and the current players received a lot of attention.
A’ja Wilson, who led South Carolina to the 2017 national championship and now plays for the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces, tweeted, “That NCAA bubble weight room situation is beyond disrespectful.”
Lynn Holzman, the NCAA’s Senior Vice President of Women’s Basketball, stated that the governing body would work to improve the equipment available at the women’s tournament as soon as possible. Due to a lack of available space in San Antonio, the initial setup was limited, with plans to expand once the tournament field shrank in the later rounds.
“We recognize that some of the amenities that teams would normally have access to were not available inside the controlled environment. This is partly due to a lack of space, and the original plan was to expand the workout area once more space became available later in the tournament,” Holzman explained. “However, we want to be responsive to the needs of our participating teams, so we’re working hard to improve existing resources at practice courts, including weight training equipment.”
RESULTS OF THE COVID TEST
So far, the NCAA has administered nearly 2,700 tests, with only one positive result, which is a positive sign for the women’s basketball tournament.
On a conference call with the media on Thursday morning, NCAA Senior Vice President of Women’s Basketball Lynn Holzman revealed the numbers, but did not say who tested positive.
“According to the report I received this morning, close to 2,700 tests were conducted over the past two days, involving members of the travel parties, bus drivers, and staff, with only one confirmed positive test,” she said. “It’s a compliment to everyone who contributed to our championship. So, given the sheer number of people involved in this, I’m pleased with where we’ve gotten to today.”
Holzman also said that all 64 teams announced Monday in the bracket have arrived safely in Texas so none of the replacement teams will be needed.
“We continue to emphasis the need for us to make sure we’re conducting our championship in a safe manner,” she said.
Everyone will continue to be tested daily.
Former President Barack Obama picked Baylor to win the national championship this year beating Stanford in the championship game.
Obama had N.C. State and Maryland in the Final Four with the two No. 1 seeds. That would mean that the Terrapins, who Obama had picked against a few years ago in his bracket when his niece was playing for Princeton and they were tournament opponents, would knock off Dawn Staley’s South Carolina team in the regional final.
On Twitter, Staley poked fun at Obama.
“(at)BarackObama” (at)BarackObama (at)BarackOb I’m telling you, (at)MichelleObama……clear it’s you didn’t consult her. We will forgive, but we will not forget. But you’re still our guy.”
To advance in the first round, Obama mostly chose the higher-seeded teams. He did predict that No. 6 Oregon would be eliminated by 11th-seeded South Dakota.
DEADLINES FOR SUBMISSIONS
The WNBA has set April 15 as the date for this season’s draft.
To make themselves available for the draft, every eligible player must opt-in by renouncing their remaining intercollegiate eligibility.
If a player wishes to opt-in, he or she must email the league by April 1st. If a player is competing in the Final Four, she has up to 48 hours after the conclusion of her last game to notify the league of her intention to enter the draft.
Players who have reached the end of their college eligibility have previously been automatically entered into the draft. This became more of a problem this season, as the NCAA granted all of the players an additional year of eligibility due to the coronavirus pandemic.