As a result of numerous inequalities that were brought to light between the Men’s and Women’s NCAA tournament last season, the Women’s Basketball Oversight Committee has been meeting regularly.
On Tuesday, the committee announced they’re considering changes to the branding and participation opportunities for future Women’s Division 1 Tournaments in an official press release.
“The oversight committee is dedicated to moving quickly to bring positive changes to the sport of women’s basketball,” said Lisa Campos, athletics director at UTSA and chair of the women’s basketball oversight committee. “We are having these exploratory discussions now on items that are of high interest to members and women’s basketball stakeholders, with the expectation that we will be able to lay a foundation to take the next appropriate steps once the gender equity review is completed.”
Kaplan, Hecker & Fink LLP have been conducting a gender equality review of last seasons women’s tournament, following the viral posts of former Oregon Ducks forward Sedona Prince—whose social media showcased inadequate weight room accommodations.
While the firm continues to conduct its investigation, the committee has been discussing major adjustments that could be made to better position the women’s tournament.
The biggest change the committee is considering is working with Men’s Division I to create a unified brand strategy surrounding March Madness across both tourneys. The changes implemented by the committee will remain in accordance with the recommendations and investigation performed by the outside firm.
In addition, the committee also plans to address changes to the structure of the tournament in accordance with broadcast partners and stakeholders. Talks of expanding the tournament to 68 teams as well as adjustments to the timing of the tournament and the Final Four have been swirling.
There currently remains no timeline for implementing these changes proposed by the committee.