NCAA FINAL FOUR: FOR THE WOMEN, A POSSIBLE SCHEDULE CHANGE?
The NCAA women's basketball committee, "seeking a
higher profile for its tournament, is discussing changing
its schedule" so its Final Four "doesn't conflict" with the
men's, according to Dick Patrick of USA TODAY. Committee
Chair Bernadette McGlade said that the "tournament could be
staggered" so the Final Four takes place a week before or a
week after the men's, but it is "unlikely" that any change
will happen before 2002 (USA TODAY, 3/25).
NOTES: In San Jose, Chuck Dybdal wrote that the women's
Final Four "could mean an estimated" $17M economic impact on
the San Jose area. Nike has set up a basketball court
opposite the Hilton Hotel, which will include clinics and
autograph sessions featuring WNBA players. The court will
also hold a three-on-three tournament for San Jose high
school teams (C.C. TIMES, 3/24). In San Jose, Jody Meacham
notes that shoe companies are "all over the place in women's
college basketball. ... [But] no one beats Nike, which
provides various levels of support for 85 schools." Jody
Runge, Univ. of OR women's basketball coach, who has a Nike
deal: "Coaches are getting personal contracts through shoe
companies. They are getting involved in doing summer
exposure things with kids. I don't see them being bad yet,
the way some men feel they are in their game." While "most"
women's coaches "get nothing but shoes and warm-ups" in
their deals, Runge gets $10,000 from Nike (SJMN, 3/25).