SBJ/Feb. 3-9, 2014/Champions

Joan Cronan: In her own words

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Cronan’s legacy lives on, both in the women’s program and in endowed scholarships for female athletes.
Photo by: STEVEN BRIDGES

Compensating athletes beyond the proposed stipend …

“No. It’s college sports. If you look at the finances, so few schools are making money. It’s hard to imagine how you’d compensate 500-some athletes. When you think about the value of four years worth of college at about $150,000, well, how many students come out of college with a starting job at $150,000 and no debt. That’s what the university is giving you to represent it. Not to mention, medical and travel. It’s an opportunity. If we take it to the next level, I worry that you’d lose that.”

The Women’s Final Four …

“We need to make some changes. If I were goddess of the NCAA, I wouldn’t have the women’s Final Four the same weekend as the men’s. I would move the women either before or after. … Also, I don’t like it Sunday-Tuesday. I’d prefer it Friday-Sunday. And we’re not as ready for neutral sites [in the early rounds]. I think you earn the right to host.”

Moving basketball to a one-semester sport …

“I’m very much in favor of starting games after December. Especially in the South, you don’t get the interest because of football. I think there’s starting to be more and more conversation around that now.”

The NCAA providing autonomy to the five power conferences …

“I don’t want to see that much separation. I guess I’m a Pollyanna. I think we just need to look at the student athletes and figure out what’s best for them. Too often, we’re just looking at what will generate revenue. … It’s time to step back and be more consistent in what we’re doing. We’ve taken some big steps and then had to back off. I would much rather take smaller steps.”

— Compiled by Michael Smith

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