Recent News

November 18, 2021

Expansion of 2022 DI Women’s Basketball Tournament to 68 Teams Approved

The Division I Council approved an expansion of the Division I Women's Basketball Championship bracket from 64 to 68 teams, effective with the 2022 championship. "This immediate expansion of the women's basketball championship reinforces the fact that leaders within Division I are committed to strengthening aspects of the women's basketball championship that directly impact student-athletes," said Council chair Shane Lyons, athletics director at West Virginia. "We look forward to the positive change this will have for the student experience at the championship, especially as it relates to equal team opportunities to compete in the tournament." Both the Division I Women's Basketball Committee and the Division I Women's Basketball Oversight Committee supported the expansion, which brings participation opportunities for the women's tournament in line with the men's event.
September 29, 2021

March Madness brand will be used for DI Women’s Basketball Championship

The NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship will use March Madness marketing and branding beginning with the 2022 tournament, which culminates with the Women's Final Four on April 1-3 in Minneapolis. That was one of the recommendations from a comprehensive external review of gender equity issues in connection with NCAA championships, including issues that arose during the 2021 Division I Men's and Women's Basketball Championships.
September 7, 2021

How Female Athletes Are Pushing for a Level Playing Field

A viral video of the makeshift weight rooms at this year's NCAA March Madness tournament, posted by University of Oregon's Sedona Prince, gained national attention for encapsulating the gender disparity that exists between men's and women's sports. The dumbbells -- or lack thereof -- represented a heavy truth for female athletes in the United States. Both the US women's national teams in hockey and soccer have fought for increases in wages and equitable treatment, arguing that the value they bring to global events like the Olympics and world championships isn't being fairly compensated. In 2017, members of the women's hockey team reached a landmark four-year deal with USA Hockey after threatening a boycott.
September 7, 2021

‘How is this guy still employed?’: NCAA’s Emmert a survivor

Mark Emmert is now the second-longest tenured leader in the long history of the NCAA. INDIANAPOLIS -- A dry erase board stuck to the wall behind the door to Mark Emmert's office at NCAA headquarters has three columns drawn on it. At the top of the list on the left, “Academic Success” is handwritten in green marker. The middle column is for “Health & Well Being.” On the right is “Fairness.” Jotted down under each header are policy goals and initiatives the NCAA has worked to achieve during Emmert’s 11-year tenure leading the nation's largest governing body for college sports.
August 15, 2021

The 3 Most Eye-Opening Details of the Investigation into NCAA Inequities

The long-awaited NCAA gender equity review, conducted by an outside law firm, was released on Tuesday. The investigation, which launched in the wake of widespread criticism of inadequate facilities and amenities at the 2021 women’s basketball championship, revealed that the NCAA has fallen short of upholding its commitment to gender equity. As a result, the review called for the NCAA to conduct annual assessments for the next five years that will track their progress on gender equity. Here are the three most eye-opening findings from the investigation into the NCAA’s inequities, prepared by civil rights attorney Roberta A. Kaplan of Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP.
August 14, 2021

About time: The NCAA could have fixed tournament discrepancies by putting employees on equal footing

"We didn't have the time to do this."  It's one simple line that's felt throughout the entirety of a 118-page gender equity review of the NCAA's approach to the men's and women's basketball championships. It's used 19 pages in to explain the weight room controversy that led the organization here in the first place and is felt often in the report released Tuesday by Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP.
August 14, 2021

Women’s college basketball coaches hopeful Kaplan gender equity review instigates change

Last season, Kelly Graves went to the women's NCAA tournament as a coach, and the men's tournament as a proud dad and fan. The contrasts he noticed weren't just because of his different points of view. And in the wake of Tuesday's release of the NCAA's commissioned report on gender equity focusing on the disparity between the two tournaments, Graves' observations were on point. "There was more of a feeling of a tournament in Indianapolis," said Graves, the Oregon women's college basketball coach whose son, Will, played for Gonzaga's men's team. "It just seemed like a much bigger deal there than in San Antonio."
August 3, 2021

Gender equity report: NCAA prioritized men’s basketball ‘over everything else’

The NCAA prioritized men's basketball "over everything else in ways that create, normalize and perpetuate gender inequities," according to a report published Tuesday following an external review of the organization's approach to men's and women's sports. The review, which was prepared by civil rights attorney Roberta A. Kaplan of the New York-based law firm Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP, focused on inequities in basketball, after players and coaches roundly criticized the NCAA in March for inadequate facilities and amenities at the women's NCAA Tournament in San Antonio.
August 3, 2021

NCAA Undervalued Women’s Basketball Tournament by Millions While Prioritizing Men’s Tourney, Report Finds

The NCAA has undervalued its annual women’s basketball tournament by tens of millions of dollars and should overhaul how it operates and sells rights to the event, according to a critical report by a law firm the NCAA hired to analyze gender inequities in its championships. The NCAA’s broadcast agreements, corporate sponsorships, revenue distribution, organizational structure and culture “all prioritize Division I men’s basketball over everything else in ways that create, normalize, and perpetuate gender inequities,” according to the 118-page report prepared by the law firm Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLC.
August 3, 2021

Report Shows Massive Gender Inequity in NCAA Basketball, Recommends Combined Final Four

"The primary reason, we believe, is that the gender inequities at the NCAA—and specifically within the NCAA Division I basketball championships—stem from the structure and systems of the NCAA itself, which are designed to maximize the value of and support to the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship as the primary source of funding for the NCAA and its membership," the report reads.
August 3, 2021

WBCA Executive Director Danielle Donehew Reacts to RELEASE OF KAPLAN HECKER REPORT

“The Kaplan Hecker report commissioned by the NCAA and released today validates gender equity concerns that have been voiced by the WBCA’s community of coaches since the NCAA’s management of women’s and men’s basketball championships came under public scrutiny in March. We thank the law firm of Kaplan Hecker and Fink LLC for its thorough review of this matter and this extensive report.
August 3, 2021

Long-awaited NCAA gender equity review recommends combined Final Four for men’s, women’s basketball at same site

A law firm hired to investigate gender equity concerns at NCAA championship events released a blistering report Tuesday that recommended holding the men's and women's Final Fours at the same site and offering financial incentives to schools to improve their women's basketball programs. The review by Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP had been highly anticipated. The firm was hired in March after the NCAA failed to provide equal amenities to the teams in the men's and women's Division I basketball tournaments, a situation that blew up on social media amid player complaints and prompted apologies from NCAA executives including President Mark Emmert.
August 3, 2021

Report: N.C.A.A. Prioritized Men’s Basketball ‘Over Everything Else’

The governing body of college sports ordered an investigation in response to outrage over disparities between its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. The N.C.A.A.’s financial dependence on its Division I men’s basketball tournament has long fueled gender inequity in college sports, investigators said in a report on Tuesday, when they challenged the association to overhaul its approach to two of the most celebrated events in American athletics.
July 30, 2021

WBCA President Cori Close Statement on Kaplan Hecker Report

Statement of Women’s Basketball Coaches Association President Cori Close, head coach, UCLA, regarding the report of Kaplan Hecker and Fink LLC from its gender equity review of NCAA women’s and men’s basketball programs.
July 14, 2021

Full Press Release: Geno Auriemma, Dawn Staley, Tara VanDerveer Restate Call For Equity In Basketball Through New Video

ATLANTA (July 14, 2021) — The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association today released a video featuring University of Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma, University of South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley, and Stanford University head coach Tara Vanderveer in which they renew the WBCA’s call on behalf of its member coaches for gender equity in basketball.
June 30, 2021

To Win in Business, Ignore the Doubters, Say Champion Athletes

Basketball star Kara Lawson and golfer Stacy Lewis offer insights for anyone vying for gender equity in the sports and entertainment industries. Women know the feeling of “crunch time,” whatever field they’re in. Two champion athletes who have faced that pressure have some advice for women: To succeed, look to your supporters, not your doubters.
June 30, 2021

In call, Dawn Staley and Tara VanDerveer ask Congress to help equity fight in NCAA sports

South Carolina's Dawn Staley and Stanford's Tara VanDerveer on Tuesday called for Congressional involvement regarding the NCAA's treatment of its tournaments for women's sports, including basketball, in the wake of allegations of gender inequity. In a videoconference call with several members of the Democratic Women's Caucus, both coaches spoke about the differences specifically between the men's (Indianapolis) and women's (San Antonio) basketball tournaments that received criticism this spring.
June 29, 2021

Maddening March Gender Inequity: Tip of the Unfairness Iceberg for U.S. Girls and Women

Everyone saw how blatantly unfair it was for the women’s basketball teams in the NCAA tournament to have one tiny stack of weights and a couple of yoga mats whereas men’s basketball teams had an entire weight room complex. The uproar was quick and effective as the NCAA apologized, dashed to equalize the weight rooms, and enlightened companies like Dick’s Sporting Goods trucked loads of equipment to Texas for the female players to use.
June 21, 2021

WBCA-NABC Coaches Forum: Gender Equity in College Basketball

From highly-publicized incidents of gender disparity in the 2021 college basketball postseason to the launch of an independent review of NCAA championship operations, the topic of gender equity has come to the forefront of college basketball. In this WBCA-NABC Coaches Forum, learn how specific inequalities are currently being addressed and how women’s and men’s programs can support and advocate for one another on campus.
June 14, 2021

Podcast: Women’s Basketball Is on the Rise. Is Anyone Paying Attention?

LeBron James and Steph Curry are household names and brand magnates, but Diana Taurasi and A’ja Wilson haven’t quite reached that level. That’s despite being, respectively, the W.N.B.A.’s career top scorer and reigning MVP. And it’s despite the average viewership for the 2020 women’s basketball finals shooting up 15 percent from the previous year — while the men’s finals saw a 49 percent drop.
June 14, 2021

Horning: Coaches need to tell NCAA what’s acceptable and threaten not showing up

Unfortunately, nothing, yet this is not even about that. Not exactly. It’s about what the PA announcer said after a third out and before a new half frame was to begin. He invited all the fans in attendance to not wait to buy their tickets to the 2022 Women’s College World Series, taking place June 2-8 of next year.
June 10, 2021

6.17.21 Gender Equity in College Basketball Webinar

Join us to talk about Gender Equity in College Basketball! The WBCA and NABC will be speaking on how men’s and women’s teams can support each other on and off the court. Gender equity has become a prominent topic in college athletics and we look forward to hearing the strategy that will help create a difference. Thursday, June 17th at 2 p.m. ET Open to everyone!
June 7, 2021

“We deserve to be treated the same,” says legendary softball coach Carol Hutchins on the disparities between men’s and women’s sports

University of Michigan head softball coach Carol Hutchins talks to Kendis Gibson and Lindsey Reiser on the glaring equality gap between men's and women's sports, including the strenuous schedule of softball teams during the Women's College World Series this week.
June 7, 2021

Sedona Prince Has a Message for You

When Sedona Prince arrived in San Antonio in March for her first N.C.A.A. women’s basketball tournament, she was grateful just to be playing again after a long recovery from an injury. But then Prince, who was a redshirt sophomore at the University of Oregon last season, noticed something that troubled her: striking differences between the weight room setups, meals and coronavirus testing available at the women’s tournament versus the men’s, which was occurring simultaneously in the Indianapolis area.
June 7, 2021

Column: Mulkey’s Hall of Fame enshrinement teaches LSU a Title IX lesson

Michael Jordan, the greatest player to ever bounce a basketball, stood up from his seat at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s enshrinement ceremony, took Kim Mulkey’s hand and guided her up the steps. It was time for Mulkey to accept her induction into the hall. 
May 18, 2021

NCAA Corporate Sponsorships Are for 90 Championships. They Revolve Around One.

Companies including AT&T Inc., Coca-Cola Co. and others together pay more than $200 million every year to associate their brands with the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Their sponsorship fees give them the exclusive right to associate with 90 NCAA sports championships. Yet the big sponsorship dollars aren’t helping any of the sports except one—Division I men’s basketball—prove the commercial worth of their championship events and attract new investment that could expand their audiences.
April 27, 2021

Statement from WBCA Executive Committee on meeting with NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee:

“We thank the members of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee for today’s meeting and hope that more will follow. The meeting was constructive; we appreciated the opportunity to outline the issues the WBCA believes must be addressed by the Kaplan Hecker & Fink external equity review. We reiterate our commitment to working collaboratively with the NCAA to address the inequities in college basketball.”
April 27, 2021

The Many Shining Disparities Between Men’s and Women’s College Basketball

On the heels of an NCAA tournament that went viral for both the right and wrong reasons, players and coaches are pushing to get the women's game the visibility it deserves.
April 27, 2021

WBCA has positive first meeting with Division I Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee

WBCA executive director Danielle Donehew said the special meeting between the WBCA and the Division I Women's Basketball Oversight Committee on Monday was positive but only the first step in bringing much-needed change to the sport.
April 27, 2021

Women’s sport could generate £1bn revenue by 2030

Women's sport in the UK has the ability to generate £1bn in annual revenue by 2030 but needs the visibility to succeed, according to a new study.
April 16, 2021

WBCA Executive Committee to meet Monday with NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee

The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Executive Committee will meet with the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee on Monday, April 19, to address inequities between the NCAA’s governance and administration of women’s and men’s versions of the sport.
April 16, 2021

WBCA to discuss inequities between men’s and women’s tournament with NCAA

The Women's Basketball Coaches Association will have a special meeting with the Division I Women's Basketball Oversight Committee on April 19 to discuss the inequities between this year's men's and women's tournaments, in addition to the external review the NCAA ordered last month.
April 5, 2021

March Misogyny: NCAA Is Hurting Women’s Basketball With A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Oregon forward Sedona Prince has arguably done more to advance women’s sports this March than the NCAA has done in decades. On March 18, the redshirt sophomore posted a video on TikTok and Twitter of the “weight room” the women competing in San Antonio were provided for their national basketball tournament—a tiny rack of dumbbells.
April 5, 2021

NCAA championships spotlight deep unfairness of college basketball and football funding

The recent controversy surrounding disparity in facilities and accommodations between the NCAA’s men’s and women’s basketball championships serves to underscore the inequity and downright absurdity in the funding of all college sports.
April 4, 2021

Women’s Basketball Is a Renewed Flashpoint for an Embattled N.C.A.A.

The women’s basketball players of Immaculata often washed their own uniforms. They flew standby to save money, and sold pencils and toothbrushes to finance travel costs to their first national tournament. A collection of pail-pounding nuns made up a raucous cheering section. But the tiny Catholic school outside Philadelphia dominated women’s college basketball in the early 1970s.
April 3, 2021

NCAA women’s tournament 2021 – Inside an overdue reckoning over inequity in basketball

In 2013, Val Ackerman compiled an exhaustive report on the state of women's basketball for the NCAA. Known as the "Division I Women's Basketball White Paper," the account was filled with concerns from those she interviewed over a span of six months and detailed recommendations to market and usher the sport into 2020.
April 2, 2021

Sen. Blackburn seeking answers about NCAA basketball tournament inequalities

A WATE 6 News interview with the U.S. Senator from Tennessee, Marsha Blackburn, who wrote a letter to the NCAA seeking answers about basketball tournament inequalities.
April 2, 2021

Women’s basketball programs continue to beat men’s in graduating athletes

Besides the unprecedented appearance of two Black head coaches in the women’s Final Four, we can also celebrate the academic excellence of Black players off the court in my 24th annual review of graduation rates for March Madness teams. South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley runs a program that possesses a 93% Graduation Success Rate (GSR) for its Black players.
April 2, 2021

“It Hurt A Lot”: Marquette Coach, Players React to NCAA Inequalities

It’s been a strenuous year for student-athletes across the nation. Canceled games, seasons, and in-person practices. This year is the first time since 2019 all 68 college teams came together for the NCAA men’s tournament and 64 teams for the women's tournament. Each bubble in Indianapolis and San Antonio had to adhere to a long list of restrictions, including daily testing and isolation within each team. Not only did the tournament take an extreme amount of effort to pull off, but it also became controversial.
April 2, 2021

NCAA’s Weighty Gender Inequities Hurt College Sports’ Bottom Line

Shock. Outrage. Indignation. Those were just some of the reactions to the stark resource differences between this year’s NCAA Women’s and Men’s Basketball Championships. These reactions and the ensuing criticism came from student-athletes, coaches, administrators, commissioners and the general public—even those who do not follow sports. It was that kind of story.
April 2, 2021

The financial burden on NCAA sports wears wingtips, not sneakers

Never again let someone from the NCAA call women’s basketball or any other sport a “cost.” Connecticut’s Paige Bueckers is not a cost. She is the entire damn point. The real cost, the real burden in this iniquitous, contemptible system is the legion of skimmers and coasters led by the devious do-nothing NCAA president Mark Emmert and his board of governors cronies.
April 1, 2021

Women’s sports can do at least one thing men’s can’t, experts say: Get bigger

During a meeting of women’s basketball coaches with NCAA President Mark Emmert on Wednesday, Georgia Tech Coach Nell Fortner issued a plea. Instead of treating her sport like a cost to minimize, the NCAA should see it the way so many others increasingly do: as an opportunity for growth.
April 1, 2021

Women’s Basketball Coaches Association asks NCAA president for gender inequity commission

The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association sent a letter to NCAA president Mark Emmert stating the external review he announced after disparities surfaced between the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments was “insufficient to meet the needs of the WBCA’s member coaches.”
April 1, 2021

Emmert promises WBCA he will work to fix ‘stark’ inequities

NCAA President Mark Emmert promised the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association he will work with coaches to fix the “stark difference” between the Division I men’s and women’s tournaments.
April 1, 2021

THE INEQUALITY OF WOMEN’S AND MEN’S SPORTS

Female athletes are speaking up about the unfairness between women and men sports more for the past decade. The latest issue has been how the NCAA treats women’s and men’s basketball teams at March Madness.
April 1, 2021

Glaring Inequality Inside the NCAA Tournament Bubble

Upon their arrival to the women’s NCAA Tournament in San Antonio, the top women’s college basketball players in the country saw amenities and accommodations that were grossly unequal compared to those offered to their male counterparts at the men’s tournament in Indianapolis.
April 1, 2021

NCAA President Mark Emmert promises WBCA he will work to fix ‘stark’ inequities

NCAA President Mark Emmert promised the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association he will work with coaches to fix the “stark difference” between the Division I men’s and women’s tournaments.
April 1, 2021

Caitlin Clark, Paige Bueckers have potential to lead charge in maximizing exposure for women’s basketball

Iowa's Caitlin Clark has made an impact that goes far beyond the sweet-16 Hawkeye basketball team. The 6-foot freshman set the college basketball world on fire over the last month with her jaw-dropping step-back threes, dribble drives to the hoop, out of this world passing and has emerged as one of the faces of the sport.
April 1, 2021

STAFF EDITORIAL: To the NCAA — Women’s Basketball Deserves More

As the dust of the men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments settles this weekend, there’s one thing The Phoenix Editorial Board must mention — the problematic difference in how the NCAA treats its men’s and women’s student-athletes. 
March 31, 2021

Opinion: Mark Emmert vows changes in private call with women’s coaches. Will he deliver?

The last gasp of NCAA president Mark Emmert’s apology tour started Wednesday morning in a news conference before the women’s Final Four end ended on a Zoom call with Division I women’s basketball coaches that was supposed to be private.
March 30, 2021

NCAA president Mark Emmert admits inequality but wants women’s basketball leaders to push progress

NCAA president Mark Emmert on Wednesday continued to apologize for the inequities between the men's and women's basketball tournaments that were exposed earlier this month, conceding, "we let them down," but he added that the women's basketball community has to determine specific improvements it wants to "pick up and run with" as the sport moves forward.
March 30, 2021

Women’s Basketball Coaches Challenge N.C.A.A. Leaders Over Gender Inequity

Wednesday’s session came as college sports leaders struggled to move past disparities that sometimes seemed to overshadow games.
March 30, 2021

Madness in the NCAA tournament: Women athletes voice inequities

On March 20, NCAA women’s basketball players and staff drew public attention to the wide dis-parities between the men’s and women’s basketball teams at the women’s March Madness basketball tournament in San Antonio.