Tuesday, December 18th, 2018

The NCAA hires former WNBA president Val Ackerman as a consultant to review the state of women’s college basketball

Published on November 27, 2012


121127_Ackerman120MUGThe NCAA hired Val Ackerman, the founding president of the WNBA,  as a consultant to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the current state of intercollegiate women’s basketball. Ackerman’s main task is to deliver a strategic “white paper” in the spring of 2013 with her conclusions and recommendations about how best to position and manage the sport.

“Val has a great historical perspective and outlook,” said Anucha Browne,  NCAA vice president of women’s basketball. “Working with her allows us to take advantage of her remarkable background and experience as we continue to try and grow the great game of women’s basketball at the grass-roots level.”

According to Browne, Ackerman will focus on:

  • Revenue generation
  • Marketing and television strategies
  • Image and branding
  • Youth/grass-roots tie-ins
  • Cost structures
  • Scheduling
  • Governance/management
  • Championships

Her recommendations will also be applied to Division II and III if applicable. She will also provide insight on recruiting.

“The NCAA wants someone to look at this with fresh eyes,” said Ackerman, who graduated from Virginia with a degree in political and social thought in 1981 and earned a law degree from UCLA in 1985. “As a former student-athlete in the early years of Title IX, it has been exciting for me to see how far the sport has come at the intercollegiate, high school and the professional levels.”

Ackerman will work with national office staff, conference office personnel, campus athletics administrators, current and former college coaches, and  representatives from sports television networks.

“We are going to engage some of the greatest minds in the game about potential changes or improvements to the framework of the game and championship,” said Ackerman. “Anything that helps the game and has a positive impact on our student-athletes is the key. This is an opportunity to vet, to get underneath and examine all the possibilities and determine what is executable.”

Ackerman was also the first woman to serve as president of USA Basketball. Currently, she is an adjunct professor in the graduate sports management program at Columbia and a contributor to ESPN’s espnW.

“Val is established and well respected at all levels,” said Carol Stiff, ESPN vice president of programming and acquisitions. “I have great confidence that her work on this initiative will be beneficial for the future growth of the sport.”



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