Since photos surfaced of the differences in the men and women’s training facilities in the NCAA Division I Basketball Tournaments, players and coaches have publicly criticized the NCAA for falling short in providing equitable facilities.
One of the players to join the conversation about the weight-room disparity is Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum, who first saw the photos on social media Thursday when shared out by New York Liberty guard Sabrina Ionescu.
He retweeted the former Oregon star’s post with a trash emoji and the words “they gotta do better.”
Following the Trail Blazers 125-119 win over the Mavericks on Friday, McCollum condemned the NCAA for the unequal treatment, calling the situation “disrespectful.”
“I’ve seen it, I’ve seen some of the pictures that were tweeted,” McCollum said. “I think Sabrina tweeted something, I retweeted, it’s disrespectful, it’s unfair and it’s kind of symbolic of society. How society continues to disrespect women, continues to disrespect minorities in some cases and I think there’s a lot that needs to be changed. I think excuses are often made based on the amount of money being generated in certain sports but based on where we’re at in our circumstances as we’re playing in the NCAA Tournament.
“Money is being generated, you have a hotel, the least you can do is provide adequate training, and I heard about some situations where women are either allowed to bring kids or be provided with certain things that are necessary from a breastfeeding standpoint, but that’s just disrespectful and despicable.”
The photos shared by Ionescu were the same ones Stanford University Sports Performance Coach Ali Kershner dispersed on Thursday. The images showcased a small rack of dumbbells and a pile of yoga mats in the women’s weight room and an image of an extensive workout room with benches, racks and barbell weights in the men's weight room.
While McCollum voiced his concerns over the unequal treatment of the men and women’s players at the NCAA tournaments in Indianapolis and San Antonio, he knows there’s no quick-fix for the NCAA’s failures.
“There’s lots of things that need to be changed,” McCollum said. “Look at how much money these college coaches are making in general. I’m happy for them, but I just think it’s disrespectful that a lot of the kids don’t benefit from it on the men’s side and the women’s side, they just get the short end of the stick year in and year out.”
NCAA vice president of women’s basketball Lynn Holzman and Dan Gavitt, senior president of basketball for the NCAA, have both apologized for the situation, but they have yet to offer a plausible reason for why it happened in the first place.
“As I thought about it overnight, and lost sleep over this, I think that some of it may be a result of working remotely,” Gavitt said of the differences. “Our staffs have not been together since last summer. We have technology that helps to mitigate that, for sure, but we can do better. We have to do better."
Yes, you do NCAA.