Over the past couple days, it’s come out the differences in what the men are getting in their tournament bubble in Indianapolis and what the women are getting in their bubble in San Antonio. Such inequalities have ranged from things like the amount of swag and the quality of the food but some things are more serious. For example, UCONN head coach Geno Auriemma revealed that those in the men’s bubble were getting PCR tests while the women’s bubble got antigen tests, which are less accurate than PCR tests.
Another inequality has been the quality (or lack thereof) of the fitness center for each bubble. The men got a full weight room while the women got some free weights and yoga mats. While the NCAA has said they’ll make changes to make it right, Dick’s is offering their support by potentially sending truckloads of equipment to San Antonio to make sure players from all 64 teams can workout as top-level athletes should.
@NCAA Our teammates have worked quickly to get truckloads of fitness equipment ready to send to the women’s @ncaawbb @marchmadness bubble – we are standing by to deliver it and have your facility outfitted within hours! Let’s make this happen. pic.twitter.com/6QJJjrrDgx
— DICK'S Sporting Goods (@DICKS) March 19, 2021
Given that it took widespread criticism for the NCAA to finally say they’ll make changes, who knows if they’ll take Dick’s up on their offer. For one thing, Dick’s isn’t an NCAA corporate partner. Ideally, because they screwed up, this is one situation where the NCAA should set aside partnerships for the greater good but this is the NCAA we’re talking about.
Is this a way for Dick’s to get some easy publicity? Of course. Is this potentially going to make things right with those players in San Antonio and help make things equal between the men and the women? Definitely. Both parts can be true and if the NCAA wasn’t so short sighted, they could’ve made things equal from the start and not have a sporting goods company trying to do their job for them.