Much has been made (in some circles) of the fact that the “new” Big East Conference has yet to name a commissioner for its ten-team league that will include holdovers such as Georgetown and Villanova while adding Butler, Creighton and Xavier.
With the conference having already negotiated a television deal with Fox Sports, the task of finding a media rights partner has already been taken care of. However, even with that important task completed there’s still the need for a leader to direct the conference.
And according to a report from Andy Katz of ESPN.com, there may be a frontrunner for the position.
Former WNBA president Val Ackerman, who made news last week with the release of her report suggesting possible changes for women’s college basketball, has emerged as the frontrunner to be named Big East commissioner. It is also noted in the report that people close to the process are currently unsure as to whether or not she would accept the position if offered.
Whether the job goes to Ackerman or someone else, there’s plenty of work that still needs to be completed before the conference begins competition in August.
Athletic directors and coaches have been kept in the dark as the presidents have run the search. The new league starts July 1 and competition begins in August in fall sports. Each athletic director was assigned a sport to schedule and help organize while the presidents searched for a commissioner. There is currently no staff for the new league but the offices will apparently be in New York. The new Big East will continue to hold its men’s basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden.
If Ackerman were to accept the position, the Big East would have a leadership figure who is highly respected in basketball circles at all levels of the game according to Katz’s report.
Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.