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Lawmakers Slam NCAA Over Lack of Gender Equity Progress

March 17, 2022

Three members of Congress called out the National Collegiate Athletic Association Monday for failure to make progress on gender equity, a move that came on the cusp of the men’s and women’s Division I basketball tournaments.

Lawmakers sent a letter criticizing NCAA president Mark Emmert for failing to implement recommendations that emerged from an external review after last year’s NCAA tournament, when female basketball players called the league out for disparate treatment compared to men’s teams, sharing videos of their relatively lackluster training equipment and facilities.

“Although NCAA has taken some short-term steps to avoid repeating the public relations catastrophe during last year’s March Madness championships, it has been notably slow to commit to or implement recommendations that will ensure structural, long-term changes to advance gender equity,” reads part of the letter sent by Democratic congresswomen Carolyn B. Maloney, Jackie Speier and Mikie Sherrill, who represent New York, California and New Jersey, respectively.

“The shortcomings at the women’s basketball tournament last year have been well-documented and extensively covered,” the NCAA told Sports Illustrated, which first reported the letter from lawmakers. “Although our work is not done, we are focused on the many improvements made since then that provide students across all our championships with a lifelong memorable experience.”

Both the men’s and women’s tournaments officially tip off this week.

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