The NCAA, the body that governs US athletics at the college level, has long had an unsavory reputation of enabling the exploitation of students so that everyone profits handsomely from certain college sports except for the athletes themselves. You would think that such a big operation would have at least the minimum awareness of public relations. So it is hard to explain how they could not have known that the way they treated the women’s teams in the college basketball tournament compared to the way they treated men would undoubtedly come to light and show how much they devalue women’s sports.
Samantha Bee described what happened.
There is much about the USA that is baffling to those of us who don’t have to live there. College sports is one of the biggest ones for me. Who gives a monkeys? You do have actual professional teams. It’s like televising local pub darts -- weird.
There’s a myth about men’s sports that it always is a huge money-maker…which isn’t at all true. Except for maybe 9 or 10 schools, they all spend far, far more propping up men’s sports than they do supporting women’s sports. It’s been so for as long as I can tell.
In the early 1980s, I was a college student in a tiny branch of my state’s university system. We were so small that our sports teams mostly consisted of walk-ons from the general student body. Nobody who had any aspirations of being a Sportzballs Star chose this school. Despite our tiny size, we were pretty good going up against other tiny schools--at least, the women’s sport were. Our women’s basketball team and soccer team were much, MUCH better than the boys’ teams. Students and local townsfolk actually wandered in to the women’s games, while the men’s games were usually empty stands.
Despite that, the women athletes were not allowed into the gym’s one-and-only weightroom--that was reserved for the boys. Their locker room had luxuries whirlpools (plural) and massage benches, while the women’s locker room contained just lockers, toilets, sinks, and shower stalls.
At the time Title IX was pretty new and we figured we were just the tail end of that, but now I see that 40 years later, it’s systemic.
Tabby Lavalamp says
All the people screaming that women’s sports must be protected from trans women competing (and from trans men being forced to compete in women’s sports as that one boy who just wants to wrestle for his school) are either very silent on this or outright claiming nobody cares about women’s sports. It’s almost like the whole argument is disingenuous or something.
Related is how women’s sports teams are not considered teams in their own right but as the “ladies auxiliary” of the men’s teams. So we get teams like Lady Volunteers, Lady Bulldogs, and Lady Stallions.
It is some weird US thing. On the the hand. if you look at it, it’s a marvelous scam.
It is expensive to develop football (soccer) players or hockey players through farm teams. It is a lot cheaper to let colleges develop your football and basketball players at no cost to the leagues but to let “educational” organizations fund the training and just skim off the best players.
It still amazes me that in USA, a state’s highest paid employee is very often a football coach.
I’m with jrkrideau: college sports (especially football) is a scam. It’s free training for professional sports teams, which hardly need yet another handout from the public. Schools devote obscene amounts of money to sports palaces filled with all the luxuries (special dorms! special cafeterias! Massages and medical care!) for a pampered class of humans, when constant news stories reveal “student” athletes who in no way qualify to be students and yet go around physically and sexually assaulting the young adults who *do* qualify. The actual students who are only trying to get an education, are forced to subsidize the entitled, hostile parasites with the real students’ tuition dollars.