NJCAA addresses gender inequality in awards


On April 5, Pima Community College Women’s basketball coach Todd Holthaus sent a mass email to various members of the NJCAA. The email raised a question that was on the minds of coach Holthaus and his players: Why were they simply gifted a game ball for fifth place while the men’s team were gifted with medals and a plaque for seventh place in their respective tournament?

Rod Lovett, Director of Championships for the NJCAA, responded with a further explanation as to why the women’s teams below third place received essentially nothing.

The awards provided at the Men’s Tournament were purchased by the host school.” Lovette said in an email to coach Holthaus.

The host school for the men’s tournament was Danville Area Community College in Danville, Illinois. The hosts for the women’s tournament was North Arkansas College in Harrison, Arkansas.

Awards were only limited to a certain amount of sports events  

However, Lovett would explain to coach Holthaus the NJCAA’s plan to change this rhetoric.

Starting next year, the NJCAA will provide the same awards to all events but hosts and coaches associations will still be able to do different/additional awards.” Lovett said via email.

This means that all respective sports national tournaments will receive awards for their champions as well as teams who finish in second and third place.

After personally following up with NJCAA, coach Holthaus felt some sense of joy knowing that they (the NJCAA) took his and othe coaches concerns seriously.

“After following up with the NJCAA, I am glad to know that the situation wasn’t a slight to them,” Holthaus said. “My staff and local trophy shop are going to make sure the women get the recognition they deserve.”

When reached for comment, various players were just happy to hear that the NJCAA took the concerns seriously and took action based on these concerns.

“All teams from all sports deserve to go home with something regardless of sex,” said freshman forward Marlena Arroyo-Plata. “It makes me excited to see they (the NJCAA) are making a positive change.”

“It’s just good that the NJCAA took notice and took coach’s concern seriously. It is what it is.” sophomore guard Xavier Dorroh.