SAN ANTONIO, Tx. (WDVM) – On Thursday, videos and images surfaced on social media showing the disparities between the men’s and women’s weight rooms at the NCAA Basketball Tournaments held in Indianapolis and San Antonio, respectively.
Mount St. Mary’s women’s basketball team is in San Antonio gearing up for their first round match up against Maryland on Monday, and were able to verify the disparities.
“It’s very upsetting,” said Kendall Bresee, senior guard for the Mountaineers and NEC Player of the Year. “We go through the same things that the men have to go through to get to this place.”
The videos and images show a single stack of weights – that don’t go above 30 pounds – next to a training table with sanitized yoga mats for the women, compared to the fully serviced weight areas for the men, which includes stacks of free weights, dumbbells and squat racks.
“We saw the video of our men getting their workout in, getting their lift in, going through a whole workout,” said Mount head coach, Maria Marchesano. “I don’t think we realized that was the workout area. I think we just thought maybe some people use that to warm up for practice and had no idea that that was the lifting/workout area.”
The weight room is not the only disparity between the men’s and women’s tournaments. The men have buffet-style meals, while the women have small, individual portions brought to their rooms.
“Our girls are obviously doing their best and making the most of the situation, but their not eating a lot of their food – they’re picking around it – [but] our DOBO (Director of Basketball Operations) is doing a great job of filling in with Starbucks or Smoothie King or stuff like that to keep the girls fed.”
The Mountaineers reiterated that they are grateful for everything that they have been provided with, but the disparities are hard to ignore.
“Especially this year when there’s been so much focus on equality and women’s rights – this just wasn’t the year to do it,” said Mount senior guard, Kayla Agentowicz.
“It just sucks that this is what we’re talking about,” said Marchesano. “We’re in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in over 20 years and everything is being overshadowed with this negative light.”
No. 15 Mount will play No. 2 Maryland on Monday at 4 p.m