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college sports

  • South Carolina opened its preseason camp without the talented and accomplished group of players led by All-Americans Aliyah Boston and Zia Cooke. South Carolina lost seven players off last year's team, the core of a program that has reached the last three Final Fours and won it all in 2022.
  • Ticket prices on the secondary market are substantially higher for the women's Final Four than for the men. The women play in a much smaller venue. They also have more recognizable names in the their Final Four. Only UConn on the men's side is anything close to a traditional power. An all-session ticket for the women's Final Four was at least $475 on StubHub and $335 on Vivid Seats before fees. Men's all-sessions tickets were going for at least $65 and $66.
  • The NCAA has gotten mostly positive reviews for its new women's Sweet 16 format during March Madness. Hosting games it two cities instead of the traditional four set attendance records higher TV ratings. The two regionals combined to set an all-time attendance mark for the Sweet 16, following up the record mark set the first weekend. The switch in format was done for a few reasons including helping get a separate TV deal for the women's tournament. The current NCAA TV deal ends next summer. The current NCAA TV deal ends next summer. The NCAA also hopes the success leads to more cities bidding to host the regional games and eventually the Final Four.
  • Black female representation in the coaching and sports administrative ranks has often existed on a minute scale. That's true even in a sport like basketball, which along with track and field has the highest concentration of Black female college athletes. The number of women coaching women's sports has increased in the past decade but Black women continue to lag behind most other demographic groups. Some Black female players say having been coached by a Black woman at some point in their careers was crucial to their development.
  • Aliyah Boston of South Carolina and Caitlin Clark of Iowa are unanimous choices for The Associated Press preseason women's basketball All-America team. Both were selected on every ballot by the 30-member national media panel that chooses the Top 25 each week. Seniors Haley Jones of Stanford, Ashley Joens of Iowa State and Elizabeth Kitley of Virginia Tech were also selected as well as sophomore Aneesah Morrow of DePaul.
  • South Carolina coach Dawn Staley is set to receive the Billie Jean King Leadership Award at the Women's Sports Foundation's annual dinner in New York. Staley's busy offseason after winning a second NCAA basketball title has included savoring the victory, lining up team-wide NIL deals and supporting coaches of color. Nearly 80 Black coaches have received pieces of the 2017 winning nets from Staley, and she plans to hand out the 2022 winning nets to Black sports journalists. On Wednesday night, she'll be on the receiving end of more accolades.
  • South Carolina coach Dawn Staley has gone through a consequential year of success, both on and off the basketball court. Along the way, Staley has become the voice of leadership and direction in the women's game. She jokes often that she never planned to get into coaching before accepting the job at Temple even though she has always had in her. Staley's role as an elite point guard was to serve as the coach on the floor. She won her second NCAA Tournament crown — the first Black coach to accomplish the feat — with a 64-49 victory over UConn. Her success has given Staley the platform to champion issues off the court. She continues to speak out about gender equity, diversity and opportunities for women.
  • South Carolina State women's coach Audra Smith was fired a day after filing suit against the school alleging Title IX violations and discriminatory practices at the university. Smith was in her fourth season at the school. Her suit was filed Wednesday in federal court. She said in the complaint the school continually provided fewer resources to women's teams, athletes and coaches than received by men's teams. Smith's suit asked for undisclosed damages. On Thursday, South Carolina State ended Smith's contract. Smith was 24-73 in four seasons in charge of the program.