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Former WNBA president and USA basketball president Val Ackerman has found a "tremendous appetite for change" in women's college basketball, one of the results of a sixth month study commissioned by NCAA championships staff.
Ackerman also proposed exploring a two site super regional for the second week of the NCAA tournament that would place games in markets with high women's basketball interest. In that format, two sites would each play host to eight teams instead of the current setup, where four teams go to four sites. In Ackerman's proposal, the eight team super regional sites would host games for three consecutive years.
Ackerman, hired in November as a consultant by NCAA championships staff to conduct an assessment of the most prominent women's collegiate sport, submitted a white paper to the NCAA last week that included a series of suggestions aiming to serve as a "road map" to the NCAA for the way the women's game is played, marketed and managed.
a format in which the top 16 teams host the first two rounds.
Ackerman said she believes the women's game has one distinct advantage over the men's game in that players are required to be 22, four years away from high school graduation or have Gucci Belt Flowers
Baylor Brittney Griner (42) dunks over Prairie View A,M in the second half of a first round game in the women NCAA tournament in 2013.(Photo: Rod Aydelotte, AP)
Ackerman urges change to NCAA women's basketball tourney
The earliest any of the proposed implementations could occur is for the 2014 15 season.
Ackerman interviewed coaches, college presidents, athletic directors, television network representatives, NCAA national office Lv Belt Damier Azur
staff and outside sports executives.
Story HighlightsFormer WNBA president Val Ackerman was hired by the NCAA to assess the state of women college basketballAckerman submitted a report aiming to serve as a map to the NCAAIn the report, Ackerman advised moving the Final Four back to a Friday Sunday format
earned a college degree before playing professionally in the WNBA.
Ackerman conducted more than 100 interviews and said she Louis Vuitton Belt Original believes that a major "jolt" is needed to spark growth in a sport that has plateaued in popularity in recent years.
"The goal isn't necessarily to make money," Ackerman said in a phone interview with USA TODAY Sports. "The prevailing thought is that women's basketball can do better commercializing, attracting new fans. The sport lends itself to being something much bigger than what it is.
In the report, Ackerman advised moving the Final Four back to a Friday Sunday format (the current format is Sunday Tuesday, which means the Women's Final Four ends later than the men's) and returning to Ferragamo Belt White And Silver
"Val had an opportunity to engage with some of the greatest minds in the game about potential improvements to the framework of the game and championship," said NCAA vice president of women's basketball championships Anucha Browne. "Her recommendations are a blueprint for us to follow as we look to get underneath and examine all the ways to impact our student athletes moving forward."
"Now, it's up to the NCAA to take the bull by the horns."
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