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It IS March Madness: Still a Shadow Championship

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

By Laura Pappano Get ready: For the next few weeks college basketball will be everywhere you turn. Unfortunately, few of the games that will be playing non-stop on screens will feature women's teams. Yes, women are playing -- just not where you will notice them. Every year, I get excited and whoop up ...

Women’s NCAA Bracket: Vote with your pen and then talk about it

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

By Laura Pappano It's March Madness and that means one thing: Time to vote with your pen, and rehearse your friendly trash-talking zingers. The brackets are not just about the games, of course, but about the culture we create around the games. They are about the notice we give to female athletes, ...

Nothing doing with the net: Lowering hoops 7″ is backwards idea

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

By Ashleigh Sargent UConn Women’s Basketball Coach Geno Auriemma believes the women’s hoops should be lowered seven inches from the standard 10-foot height (or 7.2 inches for 1972 when Title IX passed). Why? He says lower rims would yield greater offensive production – more scoring -- and more fans for the women’s ...

Results are in: Farther 3-point line makes a (small) dent in scoring

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

By Ashleigh Sargent One foot might not seem like a major difference – unless it’s on a basketball court. And unless it’s the three-point line you’re talking about. Last year, the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel decided to move the traditional women’s three-point arc before the start of the season.  In a (literal) ...

Sizing up ND vs. BU (what won it and what the final will look like)

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

By Ashleigh Sargent and Mariah Philips Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish took down perennial powerhouse UConn in overtime to advance to the National Championship for the second year in a row.  Behind the leadership of Skylar Diggins, who finished the night with 19 points, Notre Dame forced the game into overtime ...

Obama Bracket Challenge: Not (it turns out) for men only

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

By Laura Pappano Sports are political. This year’s March Madness tournament has made that point even more clearly than usual as President Barack Obama’s campaign announced the “Obama Bracket Challenge:” Out pick the President and your name appears on the campaign website. While initial reports suggested a catch -- that the contest only applied to ...

Quiet challenge: Transition from HS star to college team contributor

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

By Ashleigh Sargent The 2011-2012 NCAA basketball season has just kicked off, which means thousands of women are making their debut at the college level. Even the most talented recruits, however, need more than raw skill to make an impact. College presents new obstacles: increased intensity, expectations, and pace. Players must figure out ...

New 3-point line? Top NCAA shooter says no problem.

Monday, October 24th, 2011

  By Ashleigh Sargent Think of it as one step – literally a 12” stride – toward gender equity. This year for the first time, women and men will shoot from the same 20’9” three-point line. The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel decided to move the women’s three-point arc from 19’9” after tracking ...

The IAAF has a Bunny Problem (not just in women’s marathoning)

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

By Laura Pappano The international track federation’s (IAAF) decision to nullify women’s marathon records from mixed-sex events reflects a crude double standard: Men can have rabbits; women can’t. The use of pacesetters is common in running, from short track distances to marathons. Boston and New York no longer allow pacesetters, but many ...

Why NCAA nix is such trouble for women’s squash

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

By Sarah Odell When the NCAA decided late in 2010 to cut squash from the emerging sport list, most people didn’t notice the decision, let alone realize the profound impact on the sport moving forward. But this decision is like hitting the serve out at nine-all in the fifth. Some background: 14 ...