Emmert vows review of NCAA facility ‘blunders’
- College football reporter
- Joined ESPN.com in 2007
- Graduate of Indiana University
In a letter to staff, NCAA president Mark Emmert wrote that “a number of balls were dropped” at the NCAA women’s basketball tournament in San Antonio, and that he will ultimately determine “exactly how we found ourselves in this situation.”
On Saturday, the NCAA improved the women’s weight-training facilities after pictures on social media revealed a stark disparity with those at the men’s event in the Indianapolis area. The NCAA also faced questions about differences in the so-called “swag bags” given to the men’s and women’s players, the food options available and the type of COVID-19 testing being done for both.
The backlash prompted a public apology from NCAA vice president for basketball Dan Gavitt.
According to a copy of the letter, which was obtained by ESPN on Monday, Emmert said “much has been resolved” at the women’s tournament,” but the NCAA will continue to work to “provide an exceptional experience to these student-athletes.”
“I have directed our leadership team and appropriate staff to assess all the services, resources, and facilities provided to both the men’s and women’s teams so that we have a completely clear comparison,” Emmert wrote. “Further, I will be determining exactly how we found ourselves in this situation. This will be discussed with our applicable boards, committees and membership when the tournament is over and the review is complete.
“For now, please know that I am deeply disappointed that the past few days have been focused on NCAA blunders rather than the remarkable athletes in San Antonio. Putting on these tournaments is always an enormous feat, and this year has been much more difficult to say the least. I know how hard our staff has worked and thank you for your continued perseverance. I hope that we can now turn our attention to the women’s games with confidence that they are receiving all that they need and deserve. You have my assurances that all will be done to make sure this never happens again.”
The NCAA did not immediately return requests for comment.
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