John Cook calls out NCAA to expand 2021 volleyball tournament

"I think it's ridiculous we're at 48," Cook said during a Zoom press conference. "Basketball didn't cut back, why are we cutting back? Football didn't cut back, why are we cutting back?"

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — John Cook is not holding back.

The Nebraska volleyball coach teed off on the NCAA on Tuesday when asked if he thought the NCAA Tournament field should be expanded from 48 teams back to the usual 64 teams.

“I think it’s ridiculous we’re at 48,” Cook said during a Zoom press conference. “Basketball didn’t cut back, why are we cutting back? Football didn’t cut back, why are we cutting back? Especially the fact that it’s all in one place. You’re only looking at 16 more teams. It’s all going to be in one place anyway so they can make that adjustment.”

This comes after Wisconsin volleyball coach Kelly Sheffield tweeted his disappointed with the organization on Monday, calling for expansion as well.

The national spotlight has been on the NCAA for most of March, especially after an Oregon women’s basketball player went viral showing the difference in weight rooms at the NCAA Tournament men’s and women’s bubbles in separate locations.

The NCAA sent out a public apology for the mistake, but now faces backlash again when president Mark Emmert announced he wouldn’t meet with the players behind the #NotNCAAProperty movement. The movement supports players making money off their name, image and likeness.

Cook has been following all these stories over the past couple weeks, and believes this is an opportunity for the NCAA to make amends.

“The NCAA is under a lot of fire right now, especially in women’s sports,” Cook said. “They’re going to pay a big price, I think. This is one way they could start showing that women’s sports are important.  To me, it’s a no brainer. I’m glad he (Kelly Sheffield) tweeted something about it. Maybe they’ll listen.”

The NCAA Volleyball Tournament is scheduled to run from April 14-24 with all matches being played in Omaha.

Categories: Husker Sports, National Sports, Sports