NCAA feels the pressure to pay women’s basketball referees equally

The NCAA earned praise last year when it agreed to pay referees at its men’s and women’s basketball tournaments equally. The gesture only costs about $100,000, a tiny fraction of the roughly $900 million networks pay annually to broadcast March Madness.

Now, as the NCAA examines various disparities across men’s and women’s sports, pressure is rising to also pay referees equally during the regular season. Two Division 1 conferences told The Associated Press they plan to equalize pay, and another is considering it. Others are resisting change, even though the impact on their budgets would be negligible.

“The ones that are [equalizing pay] are reading the writing on the wall,” said Michael Lewis, a marketing professor at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.

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