Report: N.C.A.A. Prioritized Men’s Basketball ‘Over Everything’
The men’s tournament, according to the report, has not been the subject of such scrutiny.
Once players arrived in Indiana and Texas for the tournaments, investigators said, they had very different experiences. The quality of the food varied considerably, as did the lounges for the players and the gift bags provided to the participants. (The NCAA spent $ 125.55 per player in the first and second rounds of the men’s tournament on freebies; the association spent $ 60.42 per player in the early rounds of the women’s tournament.)
And investigators found that tournament organizers were devoting significantly more resources to promoting the men’s tournament.
But the problems that followed the women’s tournament lasted, in many ways, for years, the Kaplan team found. The NCAA, for example, makes money through a corporate sponsorship deal that generates substantial income exclusively for men’s basketball in Division I. The system, investigators wrote, requires a sponsor potential agrees to support all NCAA Championship events, thus closing opportunities to business. with reduced marketing budgets.
“There is no space for sponsors who might be interested in women’s basketball, but are unwilling or unable to afford the advertising time needed to support men’s basketball.” , indicates the report. The media rights structure, they added, “contributes to the narrative that women’s basketball is a supposed money loser, and that men’s basketball needs to be prioritized so that it can maximize revenue at the top. profit from all NCAA sports “.
The existing television deal for the women’s tournament, according to the report, has also posed a substantial obstacle for women’s basketball. In an 88-page addendum to the report, a sports media company estimated that the women’s tournament alone could be worth more than $ 100 million a year from 2025, when the current deal expires.
In the meantime, the company said, the NCAA and media partners such as CBS, Turner and ESPN could take a series of measures that “protect the premium value” of the men’s tournament while also contributing to the “continued development” of women’s competition. These options, according to the report, include the use of the “March Madness” brand for both tournaments.
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