NCAA Gives Snarky Reason Why It Held Caitlin Clark Presser On Loading Dock

An NCAA site representative dismissed concerns about the truck noise, saying, "There was no perfect solution to the breakout area."

Caitlin Clark may be one of the best players in the history of women’s college basketball, but the NCAA isn’t treating her like one.

On Thursday, two days after she led the Iowa Hawkeyes to a victory against the Louisiana State University Tigers in the Elite Eight, which was the most-watched game in women’s college basketball history, the NCAA brought her out for a press conference on a loading dock.

Yes, the all-time NCAA Division I scorer gave a press conference before Friday’s Final Four game on a loading dock.

And it was noisy, as this tweet by sports writer Adam Jacobi amply demonstrates.

Considering no one would ever make Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Judge or LeBron James do press conferences on loading decks, Jacobi wanted to know why NCAA officials thought it was the best place for Clark.

But he was shocked by the NCAA’s snarky response to an honest question about optics.

“There was no perfect solution to the breakout area but you should know that you are in the minority with your complaints,” an unidentified NCAA site representative told Jacobi. “Caitlin Clark provided media access for almost an hour today and if you couldn’t get what you needed from her in one of her four media sessions, that’s on you.”

The optics of having one of your sport’s best known player answer reporters’ questions amid engine noise and beeping reminded some that the NCAA doesn’t have a great record of treating women’s basketball players with dignity.

In 2021, players and coaches from several women’s teams pointed out the disparity between the perks and facilities offered to male players ― such as better-equipped weight rooms, better food and better swag bags.

The NCAA vowed to to do better for the women back then, but its decision to make Clark speak above the truck traffic made some people on social media doubtful that real change has occurred.

HuffPost asked the NCAA why the organization forced its highest-profile player to discuss her upcoming games on a loading dock.

An NCAA spokesperson, in a response Friday night, didn’t address that question but instead issued a statement saying the organization “has increased its annual investment in women’s basketball by approximately $14 million” since 2021.

The money, along with other initiatives, “is intended to improve event operations, fan events, and student-athlete and team experiences,” the statement said.

The NCAA Women’s Basketball Committee will meet later this summer to determine ways to improve the tournament, and it’s possible they might address the folly of making players do press conferences surrounded by working forklifts.

But based on comments on social media, there are fans who think changes should be made sooner.

Popular in the Community


What's Hot