The basketball conversation is bringing up all the right questions

This year’s college coaching carousel has brought with it extra sauce this year, as a slew of misconduct allegations have been thrown at coaches by players. Transfers in some programs – like Kentucky and Loyola Chicago – have been at epidemic levels.

But instead of discussions falling away, as they often do, several stories are now coming out to highlight the issues that plague women’s basketball, and which are keeping it from growing (yes, I used that word on purpose) forward.

Did you see this story yesterday about gender discrimination issues at the University of Iowa?

A man’s game: Inside the inequality that plagues women’s college sports

The problems at Iowa are not unique to the school, as the number of female coaches has fallen and leveled off since the passage of Title IX.

Today there is this from ESPN:

Cohesive staff, role of assistant coaches more important than ever

This piece makes the valid point that assistant coaches need to be on the same page as the head coach. Yes indeed, but the story would have been even more effective if the writer had used someone like Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer as the primary interview, as she’s had one of her assistant coaches for three decades.

Female athletes and coaches have been frustrated for a long time, and they’re sick of it. That’s why times are changing. We’re right in the thick of it now, and probably will be for a while, which is why everything currently feels like a crisis. But it’s a good sign that people are still talking, and stories being written.

Things will get better.

I’ve been working on a story around these issues for weeks, and the deeper I go and the more people I talk to, the more it’s breaking off into several stories. I am still sorting and gathering information, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, all the players, coaches and fans need to keep their heads up.

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