'We earned our spot': Local coaches, players reflect on NCAA women's basketball controversy

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- On the final day of Women’s History Month CBS 58 is circling back to the NCAA tournament.

We’re looking deeper into the impact of the disparities between men’s and women’s basketball.

Coach Megan Duffy leads the Marquette University Women's Basketball Golden Eagles.

Duffy and one of her players said the team worked hard to get to the NCAA this year.

And while they know women’s teams don’t get as much support, they say social media put a spotlight on the issue.

It began with a now-viral video of the women’s weight room at the NCAA.

Their lack of equipment compared to the men’s facilities.

“When we got there, we saw it and we were like, ‘wow, that’s it?" said Eagles sophomore forward Camryn Taylor.

After seeing the differences for herself, Taylor said she realized the public view of women’s basketball.

“We were still grateful to be there," she said. "We earned our way, you know, we earned our spot.”

Disparities in food, swag bags and branding throughout the NCAA were also points of controversy.

“This is the first year that, in women’s college basketball, that the family of ESPN and ABC have broadcasted every single game," said Duffy.

Duffy believes that women athletes are fighting an unfair history, Title IX and capitalism, among other issues.

She said she doesn’t want players to get discouraged.

“What we’re trying to push on the women’s side is that those dollars can be allocated a little bit more towards women’s sports to get these talented women on TV so people will watch," said Duffy.

Kassidi Macak is assistant athletic director at Salam School in Milwaukee.

She also coaches the high school girl's basketball team.

Macak was frustrated after having trouble finding the women’s NCAA bracket on a national sports website.

“They’re not reading articles about the buzzer-beaters and the close games and the overtimes because it’s just hidden in the corner of a website," said Macak.

Coach Duffy said there are talks of a possible third-party working with the NCAA to address issues like these disparities.

The NCAA did apologize to the players and team saying they dropped the ball.

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