The NCAA March Madness draws an incredible audience every year. Well, the men’s bracket does. The women’s side doesn’t even come close to those viewership numbers. They lack the funds and audience that the men do.
Recently, the NCAA has received backlash over the weightroom having less equipment for the women than the men. Like, significantly less. Imagine a full gym of equipment with everything you could possibly need for men. Then for the women, they got one rack of weights with yoga mats.
This isn’t the only disparity in the NCAA march madness tournament against the women’s side. They were given lesser quality food in the bubble while the men’s side had a full buffet style for meal plans including steak and lobster.
The most glaring issue today is the testing that was given to the men. The University of Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma revealed they were tested every day with the highly accurate PCR COVID-19 test. The women did not have the opportunity for such tests. They were given antigen-tests which are much less accurate than PCR.
NCAA president Mark Emmert, spoke to reporters about the issue: “ I want to be really clear. This is not something that should have happened, and should we ever conduct a tournament like this again, will ever happen again.”
This goes to an underlying issue where women’s sports aren’t given the same benefits. As a fan of women’s sports, it feels like the overall timing of these tournaments could be separated more to provide a better audience for the other bracket.
March Madness draws in amazing numbers partly due to the incredible format and competitiveness of the tournament. The women’s side has the same format. Their bracket is the same. Instead of both men’s and women’s tournaments being played at the same time. If there could be more time to space out each of them, there would be more people wanting to watch both sides rather than picking.
The small fix of separating the tournaments by a month would increase viewership and ultimately give the women’s side of things equal resources.
By Nicholas Mundy