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NCAA Has No One to Blame for Latest Women’s March Madness Transgressions

Apr 1, 2024

In 2021, the NCAA fielded a barrage of criticism over inequities between the Division I men’s and women’s tournaments, from weight rooms to branding and food offerings. But those issues stemmed from structural problems that preceded the executives running the events.

Lynn Holzman, NCAA’s VP of women’s basketball, and her team were tasked with operating a tournament with a smaller budget and men’s-centric sponsorship contract, and without “March Madness” branding or a prize money distribution structure. Even the NCAA hierarchy was problematic: Holzman ranked below Dan Gavitt, her counterpart on the men’s side. Since then, the NCAA has done a complete overhaul involving multiple outside audits and major structural changes, among them a new media contract, a new branding strategy, and even a new president. As a result, women’s March Madness is bigger and more popular than ever.

Yet this year’s event has been marred by multiple embarrassing, avoidable, and even dangerous logistical problems. After all that triage and change, the current NCAA tournament operators have no one to blame but themselves.

Source: Front Office Sports

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