OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The NCAA responded to multiple volleyball coaches' concerns about dressing areas and practice courts at the CHI Health Center Convention Center for the first few rounds of next week's NCAA Tournament in Omaha.
Earlier on Thursday, Nebraska head coach John Cook voiced his concern about players not having locker room access for the first few rounds.
"It's going to be really interesting how this is all pulled off," Cook said. "Where do they change? The volleyball players warm up and then they change into their uniform. How's that going to work? You're in the middle of convention hall C."
The NCAA's statement Thursday night on changing rooms:
"Contrary to reports, players were never expected to change clothes on the bench – each team will have a secure changing area on site."
Big Ten Network digital reporter & former Northwestern volleyball player Emily Ehman spoke with multiple coaches who were concerned as well.
"Apparently one SEC coach asked twice about it on meetings that they had," said Ehman. "And they said 'This is all we have right now. We're not sure.' And later today they put out a statement saying they will have areas for them to change into their jerseys but that was definitely a recent development over the last few hours."
Earlier this week, Cook also voiced his concern about teams practicing on Sport Court with just cement underneath on the convention center side.
The NCAA also responded to that on Thursday night:
"To address concerns about the practice court flooring in the convention center - felt underlayment is applied to each practice court to apply cushioning and prevent court movement. Taraflex floor will be laid over felt underlayment and sport court floor for the first three rounds of competition. Starting with the regional finals, matches will be played in CHI Health Center Arena on a Sport Court over a wood sport flooring system, which has been the traditional set-up for the championship."
Ehman gave her thoughts about that as well.
"You see as players get older, it (Sport Court) hurts more," said Ehman. "And especially in such a big tournament of their careers, it might be the only one they make in their career. Playing on something like Sport Court is just inadequate."
The tournament starts next Wednesday in Omaha. Creighton plays Morehead State starting at 2:30 p.m. Nebraska, meanwhile, will face the winner of Utah Valley/Texas State on Thursday also at 2:30 p.m. All matches for the first two rounds will be streamed online at ESPN3.com but as of Thursday, no announcers were expected to call those matches.