WBCA to discuss inequities between men's and women's tournament with NCAA

The Women's Basketball Coaches Association will have a special meeting with the Division I Women's Basketball Oversight Committee on April 19 to discuss the inequities between this year's men's and women's tournaments, in addition to the external review the NCAA ordered last month.

ESPN obtained a letter sent last week to NCAA Vice President of Women's Basketball Lynn Holzman and oversight committee chair Lisa Campos requesting the special meeting.

In the letter, the WBCA made it clear it wants to not only discuss what happened in San Antonio, but "the systemic inequities that exist in the NCAA's organizational structure, governance and administration of women's and men's basketball."

As part of these discussions, the WBCA has requested the oversight committee add the following items to the agenda:

• Expansion of the women's championship field from 64 to 68 teams to match the current men's tournament format

• Introduction of a travel/per diem stipend for all participants in the WNIT, to match the NIT

• Revenue distribution based on a five-year rolling average of success; there is no current revenue distribution off the women's tournament

• The challenges posed by conducting both Final Four events on the same weekend.

In addition, the WBCA would like to address elevating Holzman to NCAA President Mark Emmert's senior leadership team, to join NCAA Senior Vice President of Basketball Dan Gavitt.

Last month, the inequities between the men's and women's tournaments were exposed anew after differences in their respective weight rooms, food selection and swag bags were brought to light. Emmert issued multiple apologies, and the NCAA hired the New York-based firm Kaplan Hecker & Fink to conduct an independent gender-equity review of its championships across all three divisions and for all sports.

In regard specifically to the tournament disparities from this year, the WBCA wants to work with the oversight committee to develop a side-by-side comparison of the two experiences to give to the law firm, along with the oversight committee's recommendation that it be the first order of business in its review.