Following yesterday's report, Val Ackerman has been formally introduced as the new Big East Commissioner. The new 10-team conference will begin operations on July 1st, 2013; the headquarters will be in New York City.
By all accounts (and we assume, given Rutgers' mess, that this information has been vetted for accuracy), Ackerman has deep experience in basketball, having worked as the head of the WNBA at its inception, along with her stint as the president of USA Basketball.
Via press release, Ackerman said that she is "honored to be given this incredible opportunity to work in partnership with the ten world-class institutions that are marching ahead under the Big East banner."
She also mentioned that the Big East's mission is to "continue and enhance the Big East's legacy of intense competition, spirited rivalries and unparalleled achievement, not only in college basketball, but in all intercollegiate sports."
Rev. Brian J. Shanley, President of Providence College, said, "Val is exactly what the Big East needs - she embodies the highest personal and professional values of the sports industry, and is a hard-charging and innovative leader who can shepherd the conference to continued success.
David Stern, NBA Commissioner, added, "her experience and intelligence, along with a keen analytic ability, an intense work ethic and a winning management style will help steer the historic Big East Conference to even greater heights."
As BigKnickle put it in yesterday's post about Ackerman, "if anything, Ackerman is overqualified." Ackerman's experience with athletics on the ground - building a league and leading another group focused on the play of the game - is much different than current American Athletic Conference president Mike Aresco, whose expertise came in knowing the media side.
Aresco's connections were meant to secure a strong financial future for the conference; instead, the conference split, with the basketball side looking to shore up their hoops purism and try to survive without the stormy seas of football and its raft of dollars.