Resources inside the NCAA women’s basketball semi-bubble in San Antonio don’t measure up to those at the men’s tournament, from daily testing to weight rooms.
In their respective bubbles, women’s teams are taking daily antigen COVID-19 tests, while men’s teams are taking daily PCR COVID-19 tests, UConn women’s coach Geno Auriemma confirmed to reporters. PCR tests have been considered the most accurate.
“It’s mindblowing,” UConn guard Christyn Williams told reporters.
The women’s weight room consists of a stack of yoga mats and one pyramid rack of dumbbells, a photo showed. Meanwhile, the men’s gym in Indianapolis boasts more than a dozen sets of Olympic weights and racks.
“If you aren’t upset about this problem, then you’re a part of it,” Oregon forward Sedona Prince said in a TikTok video.
Women’s teams couldn’t initially order takeout to the bubble, and some are “surviving” on snacks, according to one report. Men’s teams have had thousands of takeout orders delivered already. Swag bags for women’s players are also skimpier than men’s, photos show.
Men’s players who staged Wednesday’s #NotNCAAProperty protest criticized the NCAA again. Professional players like Sabrina Ionescu, Steph Curry, and Kyrie Irving chimed in, too.
“This is how y’all doing our Queens,” Irving wrote on Instagram. “We can’t tolerate this! They deserve more!”
On a call with reporters Friday, NCAA VP of Women’s Basketball Lynn Holzman admitted, “We fell short.” SVP of Basketball Dan Gavitt added, “I apologize for dropping the ball.”
They said they are working to correct the weight room and food situation. NCAA President Mark Emmert told three news outlets that “health experts” had confirmed all tournaments’ protocols were adequate.