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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Who's Who and the White What?


(Jenny O'Bryan reports on the recent meeting discussing "The White Papers" . No, they aren't about BREAKING BAD villian Walter White...nor highly sought after 2014 WBB recruit Jatarie White.  The papers do have potential to augment and make changes in the womens' game post-season, though...)

Val Ackerman
This past summer a report was given to the NCAA Vice President of Championships (and others) that suggested changes be made to the women’s game.  The report was 52 pages and was full of many suggestions to help increase interest and grow the game of women’s basketball.  This report was submitted by Val Ackerman, former WNBA President/USA Basketball president and current Big East Commissioner, and is known as the Ackerman report or the White Papers.  

There has been much written about the report since it hit the media in June.  Social media basketball guru’s have been tweeting about it, linking articles and opinions of the many ways that these changes, if implemented, can grow the game. 

This past Monday the Who’s Who of the women’s basketball world (Bill the Goat must of eaten my invitation as it arrived at the Cardinal Couple Worldwide Headquarters) gathered in Indianapolis to talk about and hammer out agreements on changes they would like to see implemented.  While this group has no authority to make the changes, they are making recommendations to a women’s basketball committee, my guess is the guest list carries heavy clout. 

Our buddy Dougie was there...
The guest list included 35 people of which Louisville’s own Coach Jeff Walz was a participant.  Coaches Geno Auriemma (UConn), Muffet McGraw (Notre Dame), Tara VanDerveer (Stanford) , Holly Warlick (Tennessee), Jennifer Rizzotti (Hartford),  Doug Bruno (DePaul), Sherry Coale (Oklahoma), Vivian Stringer (Rutgers) and Sue Semrau (Florida State) were the high profile coaches invited, along with conference representatives, athletic administrators, television executives and NCAA committee members.  A lone referee, Dee Kantner was also involved. 

While the original report is extensive (you can read the full report here:,

Monday’s discussion primarily focused on tournament changes.  

The changes agreed upon would not take effect until the 2014-15 season, and of the tournament changes, there appears to be “tremendous support” for”

<-- Moving the women’s tournament back one weekend, so as not to conflict with the Men’s Final Four (Louisville fans can appreciate this one, as many a people I saw and spoke with in NOLA this past year were driving back and forth between NOLA and Atlanta to be a part of both Final Fours).
<-- The Final Four will move from a Sunday/Tuesday lineup to a Friday/Sunday format
- -- The top 16 seeds to host opening rounds of the tournament, not predetermined host sites

<-- Super Regionals will consist of 2 sites (not 4) each hosting 8 teams (not 4).
<-- 3 venues will host and rotate super regionals and Final Four, for multiple years.  For example:  venues A and B will host super regionals and venue C will host the Final Four.  The following year B and C will host super regionals and A will host Final Four.

Maybe they should have invited Jatarie White to the
White Paper discussion...
I personally like a lot of these proposed changes especially not conflicting with the men’s final four and the Friday/Sunday change.  I love the idea of the 2 super regional sites.  More teams at one site means more basketball to watch.  I would love the opportunity to see more teams in the tournament compete.   I am not sure how I feel about the rotating venues change.  I’ll have to wait and try that one on before I comment on it. 

Some additional items that were discussed favorably were officials receiving more training, professional development of coaches and staff, and at least currently, keeping the scholarship limit at 15. 

In the interest of parity there was some discussion in the original report to limit the number of scholarships to 13 (this is what I believe the men’s side has).  The thinking being with fewer scholarships at schools, athletes would be forced to diversify their choices and so as not to see the top recruits heading to the same school (s) year after year.  I don’t think cutting the total by 2 reduces those chances at all.   Some schools consistently only carry 12-13 kids as it is.  I also think with injuries seemingly rampant every year, a higher roster count minimizes the hurt a team takes when one goes down.  Of course, coaches can choose to use or not use all their scholarships.  I suspect with some coaches it is a personal choice to keep their rosters smaller. 

Nashville skyline
Again, none of the above mentioned changes are new rules, yet.  These are all just recommendations  The rules committee will take these suggestions in to account in their October meetings. 

For the time being, you can make your plans for Nashville in 2014 for Sunday and Tuesday to see your beloved Cardinals battling in the Final Four again.  I intend to be there.  How ‘bout you?

( EDITOR NOTE: Bill the Goat denies eating any of Jenny's mail from the NCAA. Those brownies she brought in last Tuesday, though....he's taken an Alford plea on them...)

-Jenny O'Bryan



  1. Good thing Dee Kantner was there. She should be first in line for additional training.

  2. Kanter rates high season after season. Plus, she always winks and flirts with Paulie when she does a Louisville game. We're OK with that.



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