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Same Play, Less Pay: NCAA Disappoints With Discrepancy in Funding

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CWU chapter.

Women’s sports have always been overlooked when it comes to their achievements, but now it’s become even more apparent how organizations such as the NCAA undermine their worth with tiny budgets- incomparable to the men’s. This not only hurts women for the obvious reasons of having less to spend, therefore having fewer resources but also pushes this sexist rhetoric that women’s sports aren’t as important as men’s. This may not seem very harmful on the surface, but this line of thinking can bleed into other areas of life, eventually leading us to a root conclusion that women aren’t as important as men.

Nell Fortner, the head coach of the Georgia Tech women’s basketball team, made a recent comment about this startling difference in treatment by the NCAA, stating in a tweet,

“From COVID testing, to lack of weight training facilities, to game floors that hardly tell anyone that it’s the NCAA tournament and many more. But these disparities are just a snapshot of larger, more pervasive issues when it comes to women’s sports and the NCAA. Shipping in a few racks of weights, after the fact, is not an answer. It’s a band-aid and an afterthought.”

But this isn’t anything new.

During March of 2019, “more than two dozen members of the U.S. women’s soccer team filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation” (Li and Varela). In this lawsuit, these players claimed that gender discrimination could be seen within their pay, medical treatment, and more. Federal Judge R. Gary Klausner would eventually reject the women’s team’s argument, dismissing their equal pay claim, and disappointing players and fans at large.

So though it’s enraging to see the NCAA’s lack of funding for the women’s basketball team, it’s not all that surprising. Dawn Staley, an American basketball Hall of Fame coach and player, stated in a tweet, “Women’s basketball is a popular sport whose stock and presence continues to rise on a global level. It is sad that the NCAA is not willing to recognize and invest in our growth despite its claims of togetherness and equality. We all came to San Antonio with one goal; it’s time for us to turn our attention to preparing our teams for that. But, it is also time for the NCAA leadership to reevaluate the value they place on women.”

The fight for equality in sports has a long road ahead of it. When will women’s sports finally receive the same amount of respect as its male counterparts? The answer is unclear, but we do know the NCAA’s answer: not now.

Gracen is currently a senior at CWU studying Film Production. Some of her interests include photography, making art, watching movies, and listening to music. This is her fourth year writing for Her Campus.