The new Big East Conference technically begins July 1st. With that being said the league currently has zero staffing, only a reported office that will be opening in New York and most importantly there is no commissioner to oversee the rebirth of the transitional conference. That might be about to change according to a ESPN report as Andy Katz is citing multiple sources that former WNBA commissioner Val Ackerman is in negations to take over the job.
Ackerman is one of the many potential candidates Big East university presidents were looking at who came from outside the realm of collegiate athletics. According to Katz the presidents saw the success that the Pac-12 had with hiring outside the college ranks when they hired Larry Scott (former head of professional women's tennis) and are attempting the same outside the box tactic that has so far helped that league.
Even though Ackerman might seem like a strange choice, she does happen to be more than qualified to run an organization such as the Big East Conference. Ackerman -- as already mentioned -- was a former WNBA commissioner, just wrote a detailed report on the state of women's college basketball and how it can become more viable and was recently in Switzerland for a FIBA meeting. But wait, there is more. She has a law degree from UCLA, was the first female president of USA Basketball (2005-08) and she is currently on the board for the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
There has been no news coming out of the league as of this past Thursday concerning Ackerman's potential hiring. The Big East is in need of a leader as there has been small rumblings of unhappiness that comes with having no voice at the top. With the league already having a TV contract, a solid lineup of already established programs and old history to help build a new legacy already in place Ackerman may just be the right kind of visionary to bring the new league to reclaim national relevance.