There has been no official announcement yet, but Bloomberg News is reporting that Val Ackerman will accept the position of Commissioner of the Big East Conference. The conference announced its separation from what will now be the American Athletic Conference on March 8th; and finally, the Big East conference has an official head heading into the 2014 season.
Ackerman, the former president of the WNBA, is a lawyer with her graduate degree from UCLA and an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia, where she was a two-time Academic All-America basketball player. She has also taught, has been the president of USA Basketball, and wrote what is considered an insightful white paper on changing the women's basketball game on the college level. She also worked for the NBA under David Stern for eight years.
The presidents of the member Universities (Butler/ Creighton/ DePaul/ Georgetown/ Marquette/ Providence/ St. John's/ Seton Hall/ Villanova/ Xavier) chose Ackerman, whose name emerged in the last week as a front runner. Former Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe had been a consultant with the Big East, which starts play as a new/ revived conference on July 1st.
Reportedly, the Big East used Russell Reynolds search firm to find the commissioner. The new commissioner is somewhat of an outside-the-box hire, having not worked in college administration, but Val Ackerman knows basketball, the Big East's flagship sport, and she has experience running high-level programs.
The new Big East has a 12-year deal with Fox Sports, and will be prominently featured on Fox's new channel, Fox Sports 1.