Sports

NCAA gender equity review recommends combined Final Four

(AP) — A law firm hired to investigate gender equity concerns at NCAA championship events released a blistering report Tuesday that recommended holding the men’s and women’s Final Fours at the same site and offering financial incentives to schools to improve their women’s basketball programs.

The review by Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP had been highly anticipated. The firm was hired in March after the NCAA failed to provide equal amenities to the teams in the men’s and women’s Division I basketball tournaments.

“With respect to women’s basketball, the NCAA has not lived up to its stated commitment to ‘diversity, inclusion and gender equity among its student-athletes, coaches and administrators,’” the report concludes.

Among other things, female players, coaches and staff criticized the NCAA for not initially providing a full weight training area for the women’s teams in San Antonio earlier this year, noting the men’s teams did not have the same problem in and around Indianapolis.

Because of the the pandemic, the NCAA made the unusual move of playing the entire men’s and women’s basketball tournaments at two sites this year.

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