KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV/CBS) -- March Madness is here and so is controversy. Stanford sports performance coach Ali Kerschner's post on social media displayed a drastic difference between what men's teams competing at the NCAA Tournament in Indiana get to use to work out and what the women competing at the NCAA Tournament get in Texas.
Stanford sports performance coach Ali Kerschner posted this to Instagram earlier today, comparing the men's and women's facilities in their respective bubbles.Women's teams get six sets of dumbbells, yoga mats and a single stationary bike until the Sweet 16... pic.twitter.com/hOgdJfHXhh— Chantel Jennings (@ChantelJennings) March 18, 2021
The image of the men's gym in Indy shows numerous dumbbells, workout benches, weight racks, and bars and plates in a rather large workout space that's comparable to an average gym. The image of the women's gym, meanwhile, has six pairs of weights total and some sanitized yoga mats -- the latter of which was labeled with NCAA Women's Basketball branding. New York Liberty guard and former Oregon Ducks superstar Sabrina Ionescu helped bring further attention to this disparity through Twitter.
As these images gained steam on social media, the NCAA eventually released a statement saying that the significantly smaller women's gym was a result of "limited space" and there were plans to make that area larger once more teams got eliminated as the tournament went on.
We acknowledge that some of the amenities teams would typically have access to have not been in place as available inside the controlled environment. In part, this is due to the limited space and the original plan was to expand the workout area once additional space was available later in the tournament. However, we want to be responsive to the needs of our participating teams, and we are actively working to enhance existing resources at practice courts, including additional weight training equipment.
But some took issue with the NCAA's statement, particularly the portion regarding limited space in the area.