Less money spent on women’s Final Four teams than men

Being good hasn’t been good enough to get equitable resources for the women’s basketball teams playing in the Final Four this weekend.

Every public school with a team still competing in this year’s NCAA women’s tournament has historically spent less money on its female basketball players than it did on its male players who didn’t advance this far.

The same is true of the schools that played in the Elite Eight in both the men’s and women’s tournament this year, as women’s teams have gotten fewer resources than the men’s teams at their home schools.

A first-of-its-kind analysis by USA TODAY examined spending across three categories – equipment, recruiting and travel – at 107 public schools in the NCAA’s Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. The analysis, done in collaboration with the Knight Newhouse Data Project at Syracuse University, used NCAA revenue and expense reports for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons.

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Of the 16 teams that made it to this year’s men’s and women’s Elite Eight, 10 hailed from public schools whose spending data were included in the analysis.

Together, those 10 public schools spent $14.2 million – or 67% – more on their men’s teams than their women’s teams over the two seasons.

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