Numerous sources are reporting that former WNBA president Val Ackerman has been named the Commissioner of the Big East. Ackerman will be introduced as Commissioner at a press conference later today.
Ackerman, 53, was the first president of the WNBA, serving from 1996-2005 before stepping down. She was a former player at Virginia and then went to law school at UCLA, practicing for two years before going into sports. She was once a staff attorney for the NBA. She was also instrumental in the USA women's basketball organization, and was the first female president of USA Basketball from 2005-08. She's also on the board of USA Basketball, as well as the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Ackerman brings a boatload of credibility to the post, this is a great step for women in sports and I'm pleased that the selection process for a Commissioner has finally ended as the "new" Conference is set to form on July 1. However, I'm even more pleased that the selection of Ackerman will finally bring an end to the ridiculous amount of anti-Big East bunk that you can find on ESPN. Just yesterday, Dana O'Neil, who usually rises above the schlock that has become the norm at ESPN, wrote the below in an article called "The new Big East Circus Rolls On":
There's no doubt, though, that Ackerman will be a step up from the current leadership of the Big East. The woman isn't afraid to make decisions and is quite capable of getting things done.
Which is more than we can say for the current crew in charge, the nine Revs and Prez, who apparently have been cryogenically frozen since March. Although we really shouldn't be surprised. This, after all, is the same group that allowed the Big East to bastardize itself until it was largely unrecognizable, all for the glory of football and at the expense of basketball. They acted only when the 11th hour was 30 minutes beyond its expiration date.
What's more, the Big East is merely a microcosm of the new model of college athletics, run by college presidents and chancellors instead of people who actually know what they are doing.
Under the guidance of the Revs and Prez, the league has been gripped with a common university ailment -- the bureaucratic flu, also known as paralysis by analysis. There is no simple decision that can't be meeting-ed to death, no easy choice that can't be endlessly discussed, tabled, reintroduced and tabled again.
Well, there goes that narrative, ESPN!
Welcome aboard, Val Ackerman. And so long (thankfully), ESPN.