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Ahead of a crucial game against West Virginia on Tuesday, Georgia Tech head coach Nell Fortner took some time to call out the NCAA on how it views women's basketball. Fortner released a statement early Tuesday in which she rips the NCAA for treating women's basketball as "an afterthought."
Fortner sarcastically thanked the NCAA for revealing its true feeling about the women's game at the NCAA Tournament.
Her full statement reads:
"To the NCAA: Thank You!
"Thank you for using the three biggest weeks of your organization's year to expose exactly how you feel about women's basketball — an afterthought.
"Thank you for showing off the disparities between the men's and women's tournament that are on full display in San Antonio, from COVID testing, to lack of weight training facilities, to game floors that hardly tell anyone that it's the NCAA Tournament and many more. But these disparities are just a snapshot of larger, more pervasive issues when it come to women's sports and the NCAA. Shipping in a few racks of weights, after the fact, is not an answer. It's a band-aid and an afterthought.
"Isn't the NCAA a non-profit, devoted to running championships with student-athletes that must be academically eligible to compete in those championships? In what other non-profit educational endeavor is it acceptable to treat young women as a less valuable financial commodity? At what individual university would it be acceptable to give women inferior text books and cheaper cafeteria food because of their perceived cash value?
"While our TV contract isn't in the billions, it is in a package worth half a billion. We do command a massive and loyal TV audience that post ratings on par with some of the largest sporting events in our country. We are a valuable asset that has consistently earned the right to be marketed, promoted and conducted as a great championship rather than an afterthought. If the NCAA and its sponsors are wanting more eyeballs on the women's game, then let's look at Oregon's Sedona Prince's Twitter and Tiktok numbers when it comes to that.
"As of 8:45 a.m. on March 21, 2021, her Twitter account had 16.4 million views on the weight room disparities in the women's tournament, 187,000 retweets and 613,000 likes. Her Tiktok had 7.6 million views.
"For too long women's basketball has accepted an attitude and treatment from the NCAA that has been substandard in its championships. It's time for this to stop. it's time for women's basketball to receive the treatment it has earned.
"Thank you for the exposure,
As Fortner explained, the disparities between the men's the women's workout equipment drew attention after Oregon's Sedona Prince sent out a video showing both workout areas Thursday. The NCAA apologized for the disparity Friday, and got new workout equipment to the tournament Saturday. Prince approved of the new weight room once the NCAA stepped in.
Nell Fortner prepping for big game against West Virginia
Fortner's comments come as her team preps for a big game against West Virginia on Tuesday. After going 22-6, West Virginia is a No. 4 seed in the tournament. Georgia Tech went 6-8 and comes into the tournament as a No. 5 seed.
Georgia Tech narrowly defeated No. 12 seed SFA in the first round of the tournament, winning 54-52 on Sunday. If Georgia Tech can advance past West Virginia, a matchup against No. 1 seed South Carolina could come next.
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