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Former WNBA President Val Ackerman Proposes Changes To NCAA Women's Hoops
Published June 18, 2013
MORE TO DO: In N.Y., Jere Longman notes some "important matters were not explored, like how to address lesbianism more openly." Ackerman still has "made a serious study of the need to broaden the appeal of women’s college basketball beyond older fans and families to more students and casual fans, to enhance officiating and improve governance, to increase scoring, and to boost revenue in the sport when the average operating deficit for teams from the top conferences is more than" $2M. She gave the NCAA "several paths to consider." One is to "simulate tennis and hold a Grand Slam of basketball, playing the men’s and women’s Final Fours simultaneously in the same city on a trial basis." Another is to "take advantage of the international appeal of women’s basketball by holding the Final Four in a country like Russia or China." Ackerman said that one way to "create more competitive balance ... was to reduce scholarships from 15 to 13 per university," and use the "two leftover scholarships for other women’s sports" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/18). ESPNW's Michelle Smith wrote the question was "never whether the women's game needed a shakeup." It has been "whether the NCAA would be willing to do it on a wholesale level." Smith: "Now we will find out" (ESPNW.com, 6/17).