COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Gamecocks head coach Dawn Staley eyes significant changes for future NCAA Women’s Tournaments. This year’s in San Antonio, Texas, exposed what she calls a ‘dark cloud’ over it.
The latest shoe to drop centers around the NCAA registered trademark “March Madness,” promoting the men’s tourney. It’s plastered all over the ‘Big Dance.’ It’s noticeably absent from the women’s.
“Everybody should feel like they are experiencing the most exciting and most luxurious times of their career,” said Staley. “We don’t have to have everything the same. We do need a personal touch. If you’re going to make it personal for them, you should make it personal to the women’s tournament. Certainly, you got to talk to the student-athlete because it’s not right.”
Up till now, the NCAA has reportedly refused to share that branding, “March Madness,” for the women’s game.
Logo aside, social media posts last week revealed stark differences in amenities between the two tournaments, along with the type of COVID-19 testing taking place.
“Somebody needs to be held responsible,” Staley added. “I don’t know who. The investigative work needs to be done to see where things have fallen short.”
That ‘dark cloud’ now lifted to shine a light on the disparities.
“So we can see what needs to happen to move our tournament forward,” Staley stated.
“If you have a child, a boy and girl, that want to play a sport, do you pour more into your son than your daughter? Because he could potentially be an NBA player versus a WNBA player. That’s not how parenting works.”
Staley hopes everyone can come to the table and collaborate to find a better path forward to create equitable experiences for female student-athletes.