The NCAA's External Gender Equity Review found that average spending for male athletes was more than what the organization spent on female athletes participating in NCAA championships.

"The NCAA generally seeks to maximize revenue by investing more in those handful of sports it views as revenue-producing—which, currently and historically, are only men’s championships," the report, which was published on Tuesday, said.

The review showed spending for Division I and national championship participants, excluding basketball, was $1,697 less for female athletes than for men in 2018-19. Specifically, the NCAA spent $4,285 per male participant and $2,588 per female participant, according to the report.

The review, however, could not make a comprehensive comparison between championships and specific expense items because "the NCAA does not maintain its records of expenses, ticket sales, amenities, or other items in a standardized manner that would permit such analysis."

In an effort to increase gender equity, the report recommended that the NCAA create a standardized data system to properly review equity matters, ditch gendered branding for tournaments and championships and increase staffing to oversee gender equality improvements in addition to operating on a “zero-based” budget to ensure any differences in gender-based spending are necessary. 

"The report identified important recommendations, which we will prioritize and sequence so they can be implemented for impactful change," the NCAA's Board of Governors said in a statement about the review. "These changes may require altering budgets and business models while evaluating the balance between resources devoted to championships that produce revenue and resources for those that do not."

The review was conducted by Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP, a law firm that the NCAA hired in March it was criticized for blatantly unequal amenities for the men’s and women’s basketball teams participating in the Division I tournaments. 

The firm produced another report in August which prompted the NCAA to announce it would use the "March Madness" branding for the Division I women’s basketball tournament after years of reserving it exclusively for the men's tournament.

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