• Loading stock data...
Sunday, July 21, 2024
Join us this September for Tuned In Request to Attend

Unintended Consequences

  • Financially, the NCAA got what it wanted by putting on the NCAA men's basketball tournament.
  • But the NCAA also created a platform it probably didn’t want: A stage for athletes and coaches to criticize the ways it failed them.
Photo: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY/Design: Alex Brooks

Financially, the NCAA got what it wanted. It plowed through the pandemic to put on a men’s basketball tournament that brings in close to $1 billion. 

But the NCAA also created a platform it probably didn’t want. Both the men’s and women’s tournaments were also the stage for athletes and coaches to criticize the ways it failed them. 

Power of a Platform

The timing of the NCAA’s blunders may be critical to push reforms forward.

“I think more conversation leads to change,” Stefanie Strack, founder and CEO of the women’s sports advocacy group Voice in Sport, told FOS.

Of women’s inequities, Georgia Tech coach Nell Fortner wrote: “Thank you for using the three biggest weeks of your organization’s year to expose exactly how you feel about women’s basketball — an afterthought.”

Gender Disparities

Days before the women’s tournament even started, a social media deluge exposed everything from inadequate weight rooms to disparities in COVID-19 testing. 

As a result, fitness companies offered to provide equipment — though the NCAA didn’t exactly jump at the opportunity. NCAA officials rushed to provide excuses, then eventually apologies. 

And while women’s players got a better weight room, they didn’t get better tests. Women’s players suffered “quite a few” false positives as a result, coach Geno Auriemma told reporters.

Women’s coaches and players spoke out about how these inequities reach campuses too. 

The #NotNCAAProperty movement quickly took up the fight, though it originally began as a movement for name, image, and likeness rights.

#NotNCAAProperty Protest

In January, the NCAA was supposed to vote on rules that would allow athletes to profit off their NIL. But the governing body postponed that vote until the NCAA v. Alston decision drops, NCAA President Mark Emmert said.

At March Madness, a group of basketball players staged the #NotNCAAProperty protest to highlight the NCAA’s inaction. They flooded Twitter with the hashtag, made and wore shirts, and caught the attention of major outlets from ESPN to The New York Times. 

The attention also brought some important meetings. Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), both outspoken athlete advocates, met with the group before the Final Four, according to announcements on Twitter. So did Emmert.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

The Road to the Return of ‘EA Sports College Football’

This summer, the biggest development in college sports is virtual.

‘Where’s truTV?’ March Madness Channel Is Now TNT Sports’ New Star

Warner Bros. Discovery will make its sports emphasis on truTV ‘even more pronounced and consistent.’
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

‘EA Sports College Football 25’: It’s More Than a Game


Featured Today

Apr 15, 2024; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Caitlin Clark poses with WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert after being selected with the number one overall pick to the Indiana Fever during the 2024 WNBA Draft at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
July 16, 2024

Women’s Sports Merch Is a $4 Billion Market, but Supply Isn’t Meeting Demand

Retailers can’t make women’s sports apparel fast enough.
Jan 7, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Calvin Ridley (0) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at Nissan Stadium.
July 14, 2024

Without Hard-Line Bans, Pro Athletes and Personnel Will Keep Betting on Sports

Penalties often aren’t stringent or consistent enough to deter banned behavior.
Oct 2, 2021; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goddell speaks during the Don Shula Celebration of Life at Hard Rock Stadium.
July 13, 2024

The NFL Is Confident It Can Overturn the Sunday Ticket Verdict

The league may have good reason to believe it can win.
July 9, 2024

Big 12’s New Era Kicks Off: Expansion, Private Equity, and Global Ambitions

The new 16-team conference is holding media days in Las Vegas.
July 10, 2024

Pac-12 Media Days Evolve Into a Cocktail Party at the Bellagio

The two-team ‘zombie conference’ is still hosting a football media day.

TopSpin 2K25 Brings the Legends of Tennis to Your Living Room

2K sports is reviving a classic with TopSpin 2K25.
July 9, 2024

Arch Manning Will Be in EA’s ‘College Football 25’ After All

The NCAA’s most famous backup had previously opted out.
July 8, 2024

Dan Hurley Finally Has New UConn Deal After Dramatic Offseason

Hurley is now the second-highest-paid coach in college basketball. 
July 7, 2024

The New College Sports Insiders Are Graphic Designers

Joe Tipton and Hayes Fawcett have become premier news-breakers on social media.
July 2, 2024

Navigating College Football’s 2024 Realignment Landscape: What’s Next?

Conferences are officially adding schools this summer.