NCAA ignoring women’s basketball affects youth


Charlie Kane

Junior Briahah Lewis practicing her free throws before playing Creekside on Jan 31.

Charlie Kane

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has faced disparities in men’s and women’s basketball. In 2021, Oregon forward Sedona Prince posted a TikTok exposing the difference between weight room equipment, food, merchandise and publicity during the women’s March Madness tournament. 

ESPN sports anchor Elle Duncan is surrounded by basketball year round, and said she wasn’t surprised with the lack of resources that women players are provided with.

“I wish I could say I was shocked, but being in this space, I kind of knew that’s what the reality is,” Duncan said. “It just took someone gutsy enough like Sedona to just say enough, and call out the NCAA. After Sedona Prince made that video, they conducted an investigation. The investigation showed exactly what we already knew, which were huge disparities between the mens and women’s tournament.”

Duncan is heavily informed with information involving March Madness every year, and she witnesses the inequality of women each season.

We had heard so much about what the men’s tournament was going to look like, and the resources that they were gonna have, like mental health resources, everything so that they could feel like they’re at home,” Duncan said. “When Sedona put [men’s resources] into comparison of what the girls were working with, it was just a rack of ten-pound free weights.”

Sophomore Sinclair Richman, girl’s varsity basketball team player, says it was concerning seeing this happen because she has hopes to play at a collegiate level.

I was shocked as I kept seeing it on the news,” Richman said. “I didn’t understand why it was such a big difference. The way that it was so different was so demoralizing.  It made it seem like the NCAA just didn’t remotely care about women’s sports at all.”

College basketball isn’t the only stage of athletics where men and women are not treated equally;  the disparities are seen at the high school level as well. Varsity girls teams are constantly not getting a bright enough light shined on them, and people typically attend boys games over the girls games. 

Varsity girl’s basketball player, sophomore Cate Barton, said the girl’s basketball team is starting to get more traction as the season goes on due to their impressive record.

“With the majority of focus being on the boys team in the beginning of the season, our crowd size used to be inconsistent when the season started, simply because nobody knew what we were capable of,” Barton said. “Now we have supportive crowds and the attention we deserve as the season comes to an end, especially rivalry games.”

The skills that these women contain have been evolving and they are now playing with more talent and passion than ever before. Duncan strongly emphasizes this.

“The women’s side is just beautiful basketball. It’s the sharing, the grit, how much they uplift each other, the toughness,” Duncan said. “The women’s game has absolutely everything that the men’s side has.”