Difference in COVID-19 testing at men's, women's NCAA tourneys has Stanford coach, others upset

Tara VanDerveer Stanford women's basketball
Posted at 8:58 AM, Mar 22, 2021

Add COVID-19 testing to the differences between the women’s and men’s NCAA tournaments that has coaches and players speaking out at the women's tournament in Texas about what they say is a growing list of inequities.

The NCAA has run 8,015 tests through Saturday with only one confirmed positive at the women’s tournament using daily antigen testing. The men are using daily PCR tests, which are considered more accurate. A few false positives at the women's tournament have been quickly retested using the PCR test.

Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer issued a statement Saturday night expressing her displeasure at “evidence of blatant sexism” that is “purposeful and hurtful” leaving them feeling betrayed by the NCAA.

“Women athletes and coaches are done waiting, not just for upgrades of a weight room, but for equity in every facet of life,” according to the statement. “Seeing men’s health valued at a higher level than that of women, as evidenced by different testing protocols at both tournaments, is disheartening.”

Late last week, several players competing at the women's tournament criticized the NCAA for the disparity in amenities at the tournament bubble sites. Sedona Prince, a sophomore at Oregon, garnered nationwide attention with a TikTok video that showed inadequate weight training facilities with hundreds of square feet of unused space.

In response to those allegations, the NCAA apologized and said it would work to resolve the situation. Prince later posted a video showing that more weight training equipment had arrived at the San Antonio bubble site.