We are at the point with the NCAA where they are not even trying to hide the fact that they fail to provide equal treatment for men’s and women’s collegiate sports.
Back in March, social media was lit up with images of the ridiculous differences between the weight-room facilities for the men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments. Just last week, a Division I women’s golf regional was cancelled for conditions that were “not playable at a championship level” on the same day that a men’s team was allowed to practice on the same course.
And now, the inequality spotlight is shining on lacrosse.
With the Division I tournaments entering their quarterfinal rounds, the men and women each have four lacrosse games this coming weekend.
And that’s pretty much where the similarities end for the two.
The men’s games all have their own individual time slots over the course of two days and will all be televised on ESPN U:
- Virginia vs. Georgetown: 12 PM, Saturday on ESPNU
- North Carolina vs. Rutgers: 2:30 PM, Saturday on ESPNU
- Duke vs. Loyola: 12 PM, Sunday on ESPNU
- Maryland vs. Notre Dame: 2:30 PM, Sunday on ESPNU
The women, you ask? Well, it turns out all of their games will be on the same day, staggered on top of each other and televised on a website:
- North Carolina vs. Stony Brook: 12 PM, Saturday on ESPN 3
- Northwestern vs. Duke: 1 PM, Saturday on ESPN 3
- Syracuse vs. Florida: 2 PM, Saturday on ESPN 3
- Boston College vs. Notre Dame: 3 PM, Saturday on ESPN 3
There is a one hour gap between the start times of all four games, which means that you cannot watch any one game in it’s entirety without another game being played at the same time. And since the games are on ESPN 3, that means you’ll need to have at least two and probably three laptops, tablets, or phones in front of you in order to see all the overlapping action.
To be frank, the disparity between the two is a disgrace. It’s a bad joke. Can you imagine scheduling the men’s quarterfinals the way they have the women’s?
The NCAA would NEVER.
I think former Maryland standout and three-time Tewaaraton winner Taylor Cummings summed it up best with two tweets (the first is about last weekend’s games):
Three games at 12pm tomorrow and five at 1pm...... WHY are they not staggered like the men’s games? HOW can we grow our sport if there are so many incredible games being played at the same time? @NCAALAX @espnW @espn— Taylor Cummings (@tcummings_21) May 15, 2021
A 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, & 3pm game next weekend for the @NCAALAX Elite Eight. So excited to watch one half of each game instead of watching all 4 full games like I did with the men’s tournament yesterday. That’s exactly how I like to watch the best lacrosse of the year what a joke.— Taylor Cummings (@tcummings_21) May 17, 2021
What more is there to say?
The NCAA is quite brazenly showing us all that, once again, they don’t give equal treatment to men’s and women’s sports. Whether it’s facilities, equipment, or scheduling, the inequality is seemingly ever-present.
For their part, ESPN actually had the audacity to promote the fact that it was airing the women’s tournament in its entirety for the first time ever.
Great work, guys. All 15 men’s games on TV. Just three of 28 women’s games on TV.
Sure, why should the NCAA be the only ones showing little respect to the women’s game?
Women’s lacrosse is a ton of fun to watch. Our own Syracuse Orange are a great example of that, as they continually race up and down the field, pouring goals in with their exciting brand of lacrosse despite their major injuries. Elsewhere, North Carolina is an unstoppable force led by a stable of the best players in the country. Northwestern’s Izzy Scane is a goal-scoring machine leading an offense that scores 20 goals a game. BC’s Charlotte North displays her freakish athleticism and lacrosse skill every time she takes the field.
Women’s lacrosse has so much to offer fans of all ages, especially the young girls and boys whose potential interest can one day help to grow the game more and more.
Too bad they’ll have to choose which games to watch this Saturday.
It’s long past time for the NCAA to give women’s sports equal treatment. That’s not asking too much, right? It is what they deserve, after all.