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Social media shows disparities between NCAA men's and women's tournament

Players and coaches shared contrasting photos on Twitter and Instagram that drew responses from many, including the NCAA and sports icon Billie Jean King.

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Thursday night, the University of Oregon's Sedona Prince shared a 40-second video detailing the differences between the workout stations at the men's and women's NCAA basketball tournaments. 

"So for the NCAA March Madness, the biggest tournament in college basketball for women, this is our weight room," Prince said pointing to a rack of dumbbells.

Prince then shared footage of the men's weight facilities, featuring a full weight room. In the video the Duck's player also showed that there was extra space in the women's area to set up a full weight room after the NCAA said the issue was due to limited space.

Stanford performance coach Ali Kershner shared a side-by-side photo on Instagram further displaying the contrast between the weight training stations, showing the rack of dumbbells next to a table of yoga mats available for women and the full facility for men.

"This needs to be addressed. These woman want and deserve to be given the same opportunities," Kershner said, tagging the NCAA, NCAA women's basketball and March Madness Instagram pages. "Not only that -- 3 weeks in a bubble and no aces to DBs above 30s until the sweet 16," she added in part. 

In response to some of these discrepancies, including the weight facilities, the NCAA's Lynn Holzman issued a statement saying the different amenities were "due to the limited space" and added that "the original plan was to expand the workout area once additional space was available later in the tournament." 

The statement also said the NCAA was "actively working to enhance existing resources at practice courts."

"We fell short his year, and what we've been doing to prepare in the last 60 days for the 64 teams to be here in San Antonio and we acknowledge that," Holzman said in a ZOOM call addressing the concerns. 

Dan Gavitt, NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball was also on the call, and apologized for the shortcomings of the women's facilities. 

"Lynn and her staff have done a fantastic job working with the women's basketball committee to pull together what will be a great championship in San Antonio," he said. "And we support hem and when we don't meet the expectations of that support, that's on me and I apologize to women's basketball student athletes, to coaches, to women's basketball committee for frankly dropping the ball on the weight room issue."

The differences went beyond the training facilities and down to the swag bags and meals men's and women's players received.

Take a look for yourself:

"There are some minor differences to that and that is because of things we identified on differences relative to the location...," Holzman said about the swag bags. 

In regards to food, Holzman said they are speaking with hotels and identifying "additional flexibility" so that other food can be brought in for players. 

Sports and tennis icon Billie Jean King was one of many who responded to the discrepancies saying the NCAA "can do better than this." 

"We're always supposed to be so happy with just anything, the crumbs, whatever," King said in the video shared on Twitter. "We're not happy anymore. We want equity, we want equality, we want the same. We should have the same workout facility or at least let us use the same facility."

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