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Opinion: Need a sure bet this March Madness? Try NCAA will short-change women again

Kaplan, Hecker and Fink, the law firm the NCAA hired last year to do an “independent equity review,” also found that the value of tournament swag given to the men’s players was double that given to the women, $125.55 to $60.42.

It doesn’t take a math genius to recognize those numbers – and the NCAA’s priorities –are seriously out of whack. But when you don’t value women, it doesn’t matter how gross the disparities are.

And before the keyboard warrior misogynists start whatabouting the differences in revenues generated, give the women the same kind of support and promotion the men have had the past four-plus decades and we’ll talk. But the NCAA is so short-sighted, it never even considered it was leaving money on the table with women’s sports.

The broadcast rights for women’s basketball alone will be worth between $81 million and $112 million annually in 2025, based on an estimate by Ed Desser, an independent media expert hired by Kaplan. Currently, they’re thrown in with the rights to more than two dozen other sports, for which ESPN pays all of $34 million a year.

The NCAA’s corporate sponsorships also are structured in such a way that it makes it near-impossible for companies that only want to partner with women’s sports and their events. Kaplan recommended hiring someone to rectify that and, surprise, surprise, it hasn’t been done.metasports

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