BREAKING: The NCAA is a steaming garbage fire of misogyny and greed. Okay, not actually breaking. But the absolute shitshow around the women's basketball "bubble" at the NCAA tournament last weekend was a thing to behold.

It started with an Instagram post from Stanford performance coach Ali Kershner comparing the men's and women's weight rooms set up in Indianapolis and San Antonio for the all-important college tournaments.

Hey, Ladies! We got those yoga mats you all like when you do your deep breathing and whatnot.


NCAA president Mark Emmert was nowhere to be found, of course. But the organization duly dispatched Lynn Holzman, NCAA vice president of women's basketball and noted Vagina American, to defend the disparity.

"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," she explained. "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."

This prompted Oregon Ducks forward Sedona Prince to post a viral video demonstrating that this was a blatant lie.

"I'm 6'7, 210 pounds. I'm a heavy lifter. What can I do with a 30-pound dumbbell?" she explained to the Washington Post, adding "People don't realize how much time and energy we put into our sport. We have a four-hour practice every day, we lift four times a week, we have to eat certain meals. Lifting and body health is a huge part of my career. How far my body can go is how far I can go."

But apparently NCAA doesn't think women's bodies can go particularly far. Here's a side-by-side comparison of the food given to women and men players.

And the swag bags.

FFS, the men were even getting the more accurate PCR test for COVID-19, while women were relegated to the cheaper antigen test with a higher false negative rate.

"We fell short this year in what we've been doing to prepare in the last 60 days for 64 teams to be here in San Antonio and we acknowledge that," Holzman said. "We are actively working on that and things will be in place by tomorrow morning."

YA THINK?

Emmert finally did poke his head out to assure the public that this momentary lapse had been remedied.

"I want to be really clear,'' he said Friday. "This is not something that should have happened and, should we ever conduct a tournament like this again, will ever happen again." As if the disparities between accommodations for women and men were just an unfortunate byproduct of the pesky coronavirus protocols, not part of the NCAA's longstanding neglect and denigration of women's sports.

Guess how much a men's team makes for winning A GAME?

TWO MILLION DOLLARS.

Guess how much a women's team makes for winning THE ENTIRE TOURNAMENT?

ZERO DOLLARS.

And that's got nothing to do with COVID.

The NCAA won't even let the women stink up the "March Madness" brand with their girl cooties. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the men's teams use the logo and handle in their marketing materials and it's plastered across the middle of their court during all televised games. The women's teams aren't even allowed to whisper the words.

"When the current version of the March Madness logos and branding were developed five years ago, women's basketball leadership at that time chose to pursue their own brand identity," the NCAA told the Journal, before backtracking once they realized reporters weren't going to just take their word for it. Eventually the league admitted that it actively bars female athletes from affiliating themselves with the valuable brand, but promised Monday to think hard "to determine the best way forward for women's basketball, including the use of March Madness logos in the future."

Check out this epic rant from sports columnist Sally Jenkins and the Post on 40 years spent "writing the same damn story about the same NCAA shortchangers in suits who would begrudge women's athletes so much as an equal amount of air in a tire if they thought it might come at a man's expense." Seems apt, huh?

Let's go out on a limb and speculate that the little ladies aren't going to be fobbed off with the belated and begrudging delivery of a few more weight racks. No, not even with the pink backlighting.

Note that the men's teams have had access to weights for the entire three weeks in the bubble. Women were only supposed to get their equipment later in the tournament as they approached the final rounds. But now they've been shamed into it, the NCAA will stick these weights, which may or may not have been donated by Dick's sporting goods, in the middle of a hall. Knock yourself out, fellas!

Hey, NCAA!

Fuck all the way off.

[WaPo / NPR / WSJ / USA Today]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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