'Thank you NCAA for listening to us': Women's college basketball players given new facilities following social media outrage

Sedona Prince went viral with a TikTok video comparing the men's and women's equipment

Two social media posts highlighting the discrepancy between the men's and women's gym equipment offered to college basketball players competing in the NCAA's March Madness tournament went viral last week.

University of Oregon basketball player Sedona Prince posted a video on TikTok showcasing the spacious gym on offer to the male athletes, compared to a single weights rack for the women, with the statement: "If you're not upset about this problem, then you're a part of it."

However, it seems her message was heard and the female basketball players now have access to a spacious gym, filled with equipment.

"Social media is powerful. Thank you for all of y’all’s support," Prince tweeted, along with a video looking around the new gym.

The weights room, which is located in San Antonio, Texas, is equipped with benches, free weights, racks and cardio equipment.

"Thank you NCAA for listening to us," Prince says in the video. "We appreciate y'all. Thank you so much, for real."

As well as Prince, Stanford sports performance coach Ali Kershner spoke out about the difference in standards of equipment.

On Thursday, March 18, Kershner tweeted: "This needs to be addressed. These women want and deserve to be given the same opportunities ... In a year defined by a fight for equality this is a chance to have a conversation and get better."

The NCAA responded with a statement from Lynn Holzman, the NCAA’s vice president of women’s basketball, blaming "limited space".

"The original plan was to expand the workout area once additional space was available later in the tournament," says Holzman.

Dan Gavitt, senior vice president of basketball for the NCAA, also responded during a press briefing on Friday, saying: "I apologise to women's basketball student-athletes, to the coaches, Women's Basketball Committee for dropping the ball, frankly, on the weight room issue in San Antonio."

The NCAA has since clarified that the single weights rack that was originally pictured was intended to be part of a "pre-practice strength area" where players can warm up before going onto the practice court. They say that the larger weights room was always planned for when the tournament progressed into the semifinal round, however was brought forward when they saw the feedback on social media.