A milestone was surpassed last night in women's college basketball. Caitlin Clark of the University of Iowa women's basketball team broke the all-time NCAA women's scoring record. Clark put up 49 points against Michigan last night and stands at 3,569 career points. She surpassed the record set by Kelsey Plum, who registered 3,527 career points. Clark still has the rest of this season and could return to Iowa for another year if she chooses to do so. The interesting thing is the attention garnered by her effort and paid to women's sports recently.

Last night tickets for the Hawkeyes basketball game started at $250. Some reports put the price around $1000 in the secondary market. Dozens of media outlets sent reporters to cover the event and regular programming on many sports stations was interrupted when she made the shot that broke the record. Sports talk shows are regularly discussing women's basketball and to a lesser extent softball and volleyball. The fact that so much attention was paid, and interest was shown in the game and her attempt to break the record tells us how far women's sports has come in the last couple of decades.

Very little attention was paid to women's sports unless it was on a grand stage such as the Olympics or the women's soccer World Cup. When The US women's national team began demanding equal pay with their male counterparts and other participants in women's sports, such as the WNBA, complained about the lack of interest in their sports, it brought a negative attention to them. It also showed they didn't understand the progression that naturally occurs with interest in sports.

Football, basketball, and soccer played by men have 100 years of existence. Interest in the sport has grown because of generations of fathers spending time with their sons and then their grandsons watching the sport. Women's sports are in a relative infancy. But as more and more young women participated in sports the generational fan has helped viewership and interest in the sports grow.

Just a few years ago women's college basketball was dominated by the University of Connecticut and for a short time Tennessee. Occasionally another school would catch lightning in a bottle and challenge these two teams but it was not unusual to see lopsided scores in the NCAA tournament, such as a college team losing to the University of Connecticut by over 50 points. Now there are at least ten teams in women's college basketball that have a legitimate chance of winning the championship. There are another 8 to 10 that could challenge them in the tournament. Competitive games bring viewers. And money.

Most women's sports are considered non-revenue producing sports at the college level. But now we are seeing several basketball programs generating positive revenue. Let's not forget the University of Nebraska volleyball team recently played a game in the football stadium and sold out the 70,000 seats. The University of Missouri recently spent $20 million building a new softball facility and they are not alone. The natural progression of the athletic contests in women's sports becoming more competitive and building generational viewers is bringing that money into those games as well as the attention of the media and fans.

It's exciting to see. And it will only continue to grow, meaning future generations we'll see the benefit of the work being put in today just as young ladies participating in college athletics today are seeing the benefits of those that came before them. The one fly in the ointment however is diversity, equity, and inclusion. That could severely limit the growth of women's sports.

This season, Seneca College and Centennial College fielded women's volleyball teams that featured 5 biological males. These men played the entire match, representing almost half of the players on the court. That means 5 women who would normally have played sat the bench. Five women that would have been on the roster were not. It is going to happen more and more and it's only a matter of time before women's college basketball is infiltrated with biological males as well. That would negate the hard work put in by so many women to bring women's sports to the level it has achieved so far.

We can only hope that common sense prevails and allows young women like Caitlin to reap the benefits of those that came before her as well as the benefits of the effort she has put in to become one of the greatest women's college players of all time. She, like those that came before her, is setting the stage for the next generation to achieve even more unless the woke crowd has their way.

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