Auriemma Named Co-Chair Of Playing Rules And Officiating Group

The release of Val Ackerman’s White Paper in June detailing ways the game of women’s college basketball could be altered created quite a stir. It was discussed at length during the summer meeting of the WBCA Board of Directors in Atlanta July 30.

In light of these discussions, WBCA president and Florida State coach Sue Semrau assigned board members to three working groups to focus on a particular topic and to develop recommendations for consideration by the entire board. Each group met briefly to begin their discussions and will continue them by teleconference in the coming weeks.

“As I sat in that board room and looked around the table at my colleagues, I saw some of the best and brightest minds in the sport – successful coaches and administrators from almost every level of competition, people who have been selected and entrusted by their peers to represent them,’’ Semrau said. “The collective wisdom and experience of our diverse membership, as represented by our board of directors, is an invaluable resource as we determine our next steps in this process.’’

UConn coach Geno Auriemma, Kentucky coach/WBCA secretary Matthew Mitchell and West Coast Conference deputy commissioner Connie Hurlbut will co-chair the Playing Rules and Officiating group. They will be joined by Anucha Browne, NCAA; Nikki Caldwell, LSU; Brandan Harrell, Georgia Highlands College; Patricia Manning, Williams College; Joanne McCallie, Duke; Melissa McFerrin, Memphis; and Dawn Staley, South Carolina. The group will focus on whether or not the right rules are in place moving forward and how the game is officiated. The goal is to improve the quality of the game so that it is more attractive to the fans.

Penn State coach/ WBCA vice president Coquese Washington and Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw co-chair the Legislation and Governance group, which will focus on how the WBCA might be better represented in a revised NCAA governance structure, how the WBCA can more effectively participate in the NCAA legislative process, and how the WBCA’s own governance structure might be improved in order to have a more efficient organization. Washington McGraw will be joined by Claudette Charney, Hillsdale College; Diane Dickman, NCAA; Danielle O’Banion, Kent State; Martha Putallaz, faculty athletic representatives; Jennifer Rizzotti, Hartford; Christy Thomaskutty, Emory; and Rich Ensor, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

Kansas State coach/WBCA treasurer Deb Patterson and Arizona State coach Charli Turner Thorne will co-chair the Professional and Grass Roots Development group, which will focus on educational programming that will provide WBCA members with opportunities to become better coaches as well as explore the feasibility of establishing a certification service for coaches of women’s basketball. Patterson and Thorne will be joined by Amanda Butler, Florida; Tricia Cullop, Toledo; Lisa Mispley Fortier, Gonzaga; Kirsten Moore, Westmont College; Mary Beth Spirk, Moravian College; Carol Callan, USA Basketball; and Todd Starkey, Lenoir-Rhyne.