Val Ackerman, the founding President of the WNBA and former boss of USA Basketball’s women’s programs, will apparently be named the commissioner of the newly configured Big East Conference, according to a report by Bloomberg News.
Ackerman, 53, was chosen by the presidents of the conference’s 10 universities. Other female conference commissioners include Bernadette McGlade of the Atlantic 10 and Robin Harris, executive director of the Ivy League.
The reconfigured Big East is set to begin business in six days, comprised largely of Catholic colleges and universities from the old Big East.
The league, which retained the rights to the Big East name, includes the so-called Catholic 7, whose presidents voted to leave because they said football-related revenue was becoming too important. The Big East started in 1979 with a focus on basketball. Georgetown, St. John’s, Villanova, Seton Hall, Providence, Marquette and DePaul will be joined by Butler, Creighton and Xavier.
Ackerman ran the WNBA from 1996 to 2005. She was a staff attorney for the NBA and served as the first female president of USA Basketball until 2008.
Ackerman just authored a comprehensive look at the problems facing women’s basketball.