Fourteen schools, four conferences awarded NCAA women’s basketball grants

Fourteen Division I women’s basketball programs and four conferences were selected to receive funding through the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Grant Program. The grants total $750,000.

The program, entering its second year, is designed to increase awareness and exposure for women’s basketball and increase attendance.

The 2009-10 recipients are:

  • Auburn
  • Big South Conference
  • Cornell
  • East Tennessee State
  • Eastern Michigan
  • Hartford
  • Iowa State
  • Kansas
  • Miami (Florida)
  • North Carolina
  • Patriot League
  • San Diego State
  • South Carolina
  • UCLA
  • UC Riverside
  • UC Santa Barbara
  • West Coast Conference
  • Western Athletic Conference

A total of 75 member schools and conferences submitted. National office staff and representatives from the NCAA women’s basketball marketing consultant firm Hawkeye Sports and Entertainment evaluated the proposals.

“Being part of a national effort to facilitate the growth of women’s basketball throughout the country is great for the University of Hartford and for me personally,” said Hartford Director of Athletics Patricia H. Meiser. “This grant will allow us continue to help our women’s basketball program be one among the top programs in the Northeast, both on the court and off.”

NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Vice President Sue Donohoe noted the success of many of last year’s grant recipients and is excited to see what these new recipients are able to achieve.

“The first year of the grant program went very well and we are anticipating more success in year two,” said Donohoe. “The membership has had a tremendous interest in securing grant resources to advance women’s basketball. It is important that we continue to work to grow women’s basketball from the inside out and at the grass roots level.”

ISU has ranked in the top ten nationally in NCAA attendance, but selected three groups to target in its proposal, including elementary age students, the Lil’ Clone Club members and Iowa State students.

“It is a great honor to receive this grant from the NCAA,” said Iowa State head coach Bill Fennelly. “Our marketing staff did a tremendous job preparing the bid and it will give us even more resources to have the best NCAA women’s basketball site in 2010.”

East Tennessee State, the Patriot League and San Diego State received a grant for the second straight year.

Among success stories last year were Texas Tech doubling its student attendance, Florida State increasing season-ticket sales by 63 percent and generating a 55 percent increase in overall attendance for women’s basketball, and East Tennessee State increasing its average attendance by 231 percent. Many other grant recipients set record single-game attendance marks.”

The program will be evaluated after its second year to determine if the objectives are being met. Grants are awarded on a one-year basis and are not automatically renewed.

This marketing initiative concept was generated from the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Discussion Group, chaired by NCAA President Myles Brand. The group consisted of head coaches, media representatives, former student-athletes and conference, institutional and Women’s Basketball Coaches Association administrators.

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