Utah Coach Lynne Roberts Addresses Equity Issues Around Women’s Basketball

Mar 17, 2022, 12:31 PM
Lynne Roberts - Utah Utes...
University of Utah Utah women's basketball coach Lynne Roberts during practice in the Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. (Steve Griffin, Deseret News)
(Steve Griffin, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah head coach Lynne Roberts shed some light on the equity issues surrounding Women’s Basketball ahead of the NCAA Tournament matchup.

After women’s basketball faced equity issues in the NCAA Tournament last year, Lynne Roberts made some comments about that subject on Thursday morning in Austin, Texas.

Lynne Roberts’ Remarks On Equity Issues

Roberts was asked about the conversations the coaches around the country were having about the equity issues and the treatment between men’s basketball and women’s basketball.

“Sometimes things have to blow up before they get fixed,” Roberts said. “I think last spring we saw it blow up in a negative light but it needed to happen. I am proud of the student-athletes that raised the awareness and the different coaches that spoke out about it. I think it’s important. Whatever waters and gets sunlight grows. I think it sheds some light on issues and that’s the starting point.”

Roberts touched on where the issues stand right now.

“I don’t think we are where we need to be,” stated Roberts. “I think the NCAA is working hard to seemingly fix some of the optics, but I think systemically we have a long ways to go. If you are talking about television and media and advertisement, that’s where the true money comes from. If we are talking about true equity, the resources need to be the same. The argument of ‘well more people watch the men than the women,’ but again systemically why is that? What can, as an organization, the NCAA, but what can we do with our media partners and advertising and all to level the field in that way? And the high tide rises all ships. I think the whole thing needs to be elevated.”

Roberts feels like the NCAA is doing what they can at the moment.

“That’s not a discredit to what Lynn Holzman at the NCAA is trying to do. They are trying to do what they can, but I think it needs to come from, personally, from a higher power in terms of the roots of it and where we can take this thing,” said Roberts. “The numbers show people do care. People will watch. We have seen advancements in that the last two, three years but still a long ways to ago.”

Where Equity Issues Came Up

During the women’s basketball tournament last year, videos surfaced on social media from Oregon’s Sedona Prince and Sydney Parrish about the differences in weight rooms that the NCAA provided to the student-athletes.

It wasn’t just the weight room that was different. The men’s programs were served better food, had more items in their swag bag and more in the bubble in Indianapolis.

Utah and Arkansas will battle in the NCAA Tournament on Friday, March 18 at 3:30 p.m. MT on ESPNews.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASports.

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