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BG and Glory was, “At least the authorities took it seriously.” ’cause like some readers, I had a flashback to Rosalind Ross.

The ESPNers wrote eloquently about the “other” things that came to mind: An espnW email chain about the Brittney Griner arrest

When news broke on Thursday that Brittney Griner and her fiancée, Glory Johnson, had been arrested for a domestic incident, it sparked the following thoughtful exchange among several espnW writers about the various complicated tentacles to the story.

How do you cover such a complex issue — breaking news about domestic violence between two women who are both active athletes, are stars of their respective teams and are engaged to each other?

The headlines also prompted other folks to speak. From Arizona: Alesha Durfee, Associate Professor and Graduate Director of Women and Gender Studies at ASU’s School of Social Transformation, Talks About Domestic Violence Among Women

In other W news:

Sweet turnout for basketball star Stefanie Dolson’s visit home

“It was over the top to get to meet Stefanie,” said Catie O’Connor, a fourth-grader at Goshen Intermediate School. “She was so nice. It was really special, it was awesome. It means the world to me. I really look up to her. I’m very excited.”

Dolson, a Minisink Valley graduate who won two national championships at the University of Connecticut and now plays for the Washington Mystics in the WNBA, spent more than two hours meeting with fans at Family Farm. At one point, a long line formed outside the building. According to Family Farm co-owner Jean Halahan, about 500 people showed up to meet the personable Dolson.

Post Draft News:
Liberty makes superb additions on WNBA Draft Day

It was supposed to be an unremarkable draft for the New York Liberty, which traded its first-round pick to the Connecticut Sun in last year’s deal for center Tina Charles, but coach Bill Laimbeer had some surprises. The Liberty traded guard-forward Alex Montgomery to the San Antonio Stars for the ninth pick, with which they chose Brittany Boyd, a tenacious point guard from the University of California who modeled her game after Cappie Pondexter.

Boyd, who played in the 2013 Maggie Dixon Classic in Madison Square Garden, said she loved the energy of the arena. If called upon, she’s ready to be the Liberty’s floor general.


Pitt’s Brianna Kiesel ready for her journey in WNBA

Welch Prepares for Transition to WNBA After a stellar career as a team leader for the Gamecocks

Blake Dietrick, Wellesley native, takes shot at WNBA

Butler High grad Cierra Burdick’s WNBA dream comes true

A little podcast: Dishin & Swishin 4/23/15 Podcast: Stephanie White takes the helm in Indiana, previews the season

WATN? Ticha Penicheiro: Former NBA and WNBA greats put on clinic for Cuban basketball players

and WNBA legend Ruth Riley looking to leave positive impact on Filipino kids.

Ruth also had something to say about how “bad” Connecticut is for the game: UConn raises women’s basketball in US, says former WNBA star

For former WNBA star Ruth Riley, the dominance of University of Connecticut in women’s college basketball does not present a problem.

It’s the catalyst that should raise the bar for the sport in the United States.

“You respect your opponent and you respect the fact that you know it’s an incredible program,” Riley, who won Olympic Gold in the Athens Games in 2004, said Thursday afternoon at Marriott Hotel.

Another WATN? Former Tech and WNBA player Alicia Thompson to be named Lubbock High’s girls basketball coach

On the college front, some disconcerting news, but not totally surprising if you’ve read some of the surrounding area’s message boards:

From a mother’s perspective: The WSU women’s basketball allegations

Former Wichita State players and parents are speaking out about the allegations that Coach Jody Adams and her coaching staff have mentally and verbally abused players in the program. The mother of a former player that transferred said these allegations are nothing new.

She also said that what brings it to life now is the fact that there are four transfers and two of them are starters.

“We’ve voiced concerns for a while now. There have been groups of players that have gone in together. I know several parents that have written letters and have had meetings.”


Eric Sexton issues statement on Jody Adams allegations

Former WSU players speak out on abuse allegations

Former players talk about allegations against WSU women’s basketball – KSN-TV

More Chiney! My Message To My Younger Self (UNFILTERED | CHINEY OGWUMIKE #3)

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the playbook?

Texas A&M: Junior Courtney Williams Suspended Indefinitely

Oregon: Oregon women’s basketball dismisses leading scorer for rules violation

Tennessee: Tennessee suspends 4 Lady Vols for 1-2 games

LSU: Women’s Hoops Ballard Suspended Indefinitely

As to what might happen ON the court, the ESPN ‘xperts make their preseason picks. Hmmm… Huge for Aston if it comes true…. and wow, the Pac12 looks to be very, very interesting!

Here’s espnW’s Top 25 and their preseason AAs and  espnw’s Top 25 players.

The folks at ESPN have been burning the midnight oil:

Mechelle: Stewart is preseason player of year – Connecticut junior repeats as the top player heading into 2014-15 season

Sometimes I think of UConn’s women’s basketball program as a giant version of one of those rock-polishing tumblers. You know, where you put stones in with the coarse grit, the fine grit, the pre-polish and the polish as part of the process that makes them look like gems.

That is what’s supposed to happen, anyway. It never worked very well for me. Maybe because 1970s rock-polishing kits for kids were a little on the cheap side. Or maybe I was hit-and-miss about precisely following the directions.

Or maybe I just wasn’t patient enough. You had to run the tumbler for what seemed like forever to me — it might have been only a week — but I would get bored, open it, be disappointed it still contained rocks instead of priceless jewels and then go do something else. It was hard to stay committed to the process.

Charlie: South Carolina sets standard in SEC – Gamecocks predicted to win second consecutive regular-season title

The SEC once again is the deepest conference in the country. Four teams appear to have Final Four potential. Last season, South Carolina came out of nowhere to win the regular-season championship and now has become the favorite.

Mechelle thinks the Gamecocks are ready to take next step, but Is South Carolina capable of unseating two-time defending champ UConn?

What South Carolina’s women’s basketball program is attempting to do is an exhilarating process, but it also usually involves some scar tissue.

In short, the Gamecocks are climbing, and “the top” is a realistic goal. But it is, by no means, a guaranteed destination. And nobody knows that better than the person leading this expedition, coach Dawn Staley.

Greenville: Wilson ready to make an impact on USC women’s basketball team

A’ja Wilson finally got a chance to take the basketball court, donning a University of South Carolina uniform, Sunday.

The most decorated high school player to ever join the Gamecocks women’s basketball team admitted she was nervous before the team hosted Coker in an exhibition game.

Mechelle also posits that the Keys of past may be Tennessee’s future – Lady Vols could look like the best Tennessee teams of old on defense, boards

For the longest time — decades, in fact — there was no question about Tennessee’s identity in women’s basketball. The Lady Vols played aggressive, physical defense that wore down opponents. They were exceptionally motivated to control the boards. They could be a very good offensive team, but they also could survive those games in which they struggled to score.

And, most important of all, they believed at their cores that when the stakes were the highest, they would be the ones walking away from the table with the biggest pile of chips.

Post Dispatch: Ultimate goal for Mizzou women’s basketball is postseason

Missouri women’s basketball coach Robin Pingeton doesn’t waste much breath talking to her players about the program’s ultimate goals. But it’s obvious what the Tigers crave: a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Mizzou hasn’t been there since 2006, when Pingeton’s oldest players were in seventh grade.

Don’t overlook the Irish. Writes Graham, Stars come and go, Irish just reload  – A fifth consecutive Final Four won’t be enough for Jewell Loyd and Notre Dame

A crowd waited outside the Joyce Center when the Notre Dame women’s basketball team returned to campus shortly after losing to Connecticut in the national championship game this past April. The loss in Nashville a night earlier marked the Fighting Irish’s first in a calendar year. But Muffet McGraw focused neither on that bitter defeat against an old rival nor on the 37 wins in a row that preceded it when the coach spoke to those who greeted the team.

McGraw wanted to talk about the new season, the one she said started that day. A new opportunity awaited.

And what about those Terps? Graham thinks their season hinges on many ‘ifs’ – Maryland must adjust to life without Alyssa Thomas, competing in Big Ten

 Like a lot of us facing a move, Maryland couldn’t bring everything it wanted to a new home in the Big Ten. In the case of the women’s basketball program, it wasn’t a matter of running out of cardboard boxes or a shortage of space in the back of the rental truck. All-American Alyssa Thomas simply didn’t have any eligibility left.

Now the Terrapins hope that moving on without Thomas won’t mean they fit in a little too well in their new surroundings.

Making the argument that the West Coast is the “one to watch” this season, Michelle asks: Is the Pac-12 better than ever?

June Daugherty has been in this conference for nearly 30 years. The Pac-12’s designated eternal optimist has never sounded more encouraged.

“This conference is going to be better than it’s been in a long time,” said Daugherty, Washington State’s coach. “Let’s stop talking about getting five or six teams in the postseason and talk about eight or nine.”

Charli Turner Thorne, who has banked almost as much Pac-12 time as Daugherty, agrees wholeheartedly.

“On paper, this is the best the conference has ever been,” Arizona State’s coach said. “We were young for a couple of years, but we aren’t young any more. This is exciting. This is what we work for.”

Other previews:

Graham: UConn well out in front of AAC

Mechelle: Irish favored to repeat in ACC

Dishin & Swishin 11/05/14 Podcast: Coming off a record-breaking season, Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw gets ready to do it again

When the season came to a disappointing conclusion though, the loss to also undefeated Connecticut while playing without injured star center Natalie Achonwa, McGraw and her staff did not sit back and say “what if?” As she says on this week’s Dishin & Swishin podcast, the 2014-15 season began the next day.

What a season it could turn out to be the preseason third-ranked Irish! Graduation took McBride, Achonwa, and starting forward Ariel Braker from the team, but a heralded freshman class joins the returning players to give the Irish one of their deepest teams ever.

Duke Chronicle: Changing of the guards for Duke women’s basketball

Duke knows the importance of strong point guard play. After all, it was season-ending injuries to point guards Chelsea Gray and Alexis Jones injury that dashed the Blue Devils’ national title aspirations a year ago.

Just one year later, Duke finds itself in the same position—without Gray, now in the WNBA, and Jones, who transferred to Baylor following her ACL injury. But these Blue Devils are confident that a replacement for the former top-tier point guards lies on this year’s highly-touted roster.

Miami: Women’s basketball season kicks off with six new members

Mechelle: Longhorns should lead way in Big 12

The Daily Texan: Women’s basketball gets ready for new season

After a strong finish last season and a long off-season, Texas is now the preseason favorite to win the Big 12 conference title for the first time since 2004. The Longhorns have an impressive No. 3 preseason national ranking from SLAM Magazine and are ranked No. 9 by ESPN.

“I’m really, really looking forward to seeing what this team is capable of doing,” head coach Karen Aston said.

OColly.com: Cowgirls Focusing on Filling Void Left by Tiffany Bias

Tiffany Bias was the glue that held Oklahoma State together last season. This year, though, the Cowgirls will have to learn to cope without their star point guard. Bias, who led the team in scoring and assists a season ago, is now gone to the WNBA.

“It’s really different,” Roshunda Johnson said. “She was the leader of the team last year. But now that she’s gone we have other people stepping up. We all just come as one and we have to be leaders now that she’s gone. It’s a big factor, but it’s all working together.”

 

From Mechelle’s old newspaper: Women’s basketball season preview: KU, K-State, Mizzou and the nation

The biggest thing coach Jeff Mittie is looking for in his first year at Kansas State is progress.

The Wildcats are coming off their first back-to-back losing seasons in the Big 12 since 2000 and 2001 and finished with an 11-19 overall mark a year ago.

“I don’t think there has been a winning identity and we are trying to get our team to buy into an offensive identity that is more efficient,” Mittie said. “We do believe that we are going to have to play inside-out basketball with our front line and that is different than they’ve done in the past.”

Post-Gazette: West Virginia women’s basketball preview

Mike Carey’s program is at an all-time high. In 2013-14, West Virginia won 30 games, captured a share of its first Big 12 regular-season title and made another NCAA tournament appearance, its fifth in a row and seventh in the past eight years. The Mountaineers open the season ranked No. 17, but face the tall task of replacing five departed seniors — including three of the top four scorers in center Asya Bussie (12.9ppg points per game), guard Christal Caldwell (12.5 ppg) and guard Taylor Palmer (9.8 ppg) — and bringing seven newcomers into the fold. Still, having three starters back this fall should help keep West Virginia at the top of the heap in a competitive Big 12.

Michelle: DePaul will dominate Big East again

Charlie: Big Ten is even deeper this season

AP: Nebraska women count on recruits for hoops success

 Nebraska coach Connie Yori gathered her team on the first day of preseason practice and handed out Big Ten tournament championship rings to her returning players.

”Not like there was a big drum roll,” Yori said. ”It was like, ‘Here’s something we accomplished, and it’s something we’d like to do again.’ ”

Post-Gazette: Penn State women’s basketball preview

Centre Daily: Mazzante makes return to Happy Valley

Kelly Mazzante admits it was a little strange walking into the visitor’s locker room on Sunday at the Bryce Jordan Center.

She also had to sit on the wrong bench.

But as far as Mazzante was concerned, there couldn’t have been a more appropriate place to unofficially begin her college coaching career.

Michelle: Cal trumps Stanford as early pick

Dishin & Swishin 10/30/14 Podcast: Lindsay Gottlieb & Cal look to take the next step

The Press Democrat: Cal women’s basketball gets an assist from Stanford

Sleep-deprived and feeling a bit down, coach Lindsay Gottlieb took a stroll last March a day after California’s season ended in the NCAA tournament. She was still absorbing being abruptly thrown into the offseason.

Her phone buzzed with a text message. Hall of Fame Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer, whose team was still playing, wrote: “Do you have any scholarships left?”

Stanford Daily: Freshman class ushers in the new age of Stanford women’s basketball

Let’s address what’s on everyone’s mind: This is the first season in six years that the Stanford’s women’s basketball team has not had an Ogwumike sister on the roster. Yet instead of letting this fact define the upcoming season, the team has instead looked to the very-promising future: to its new offensive scheme, to seeing Amber Orrange and Lili Thompson step up as offensive powerhouses and perhaps most importantly, to see how the freshmen — Kaylee Johnson, Taylor Rooks and Brittany McPhee — will shape the next few years of Cardinal basketball.

San Jose Mercury News: Stanford aiming to speed up tempo

Should Stanford reach the NCAA women’s basketball Final Four for the seventh time in eight years, coach Tara Van Derveer may do some serious celebrating. Stanford, which hasn’t won an NCAA title since 1992, lost to eventual champion Connecticut in the semifinals last year.

“It’s really hard to get to the Final Four,” said Van Derveer, in her 29th season. “If I’m talking about that with this team, I’ll buy you a beer and I don’t even drink. This is going to be very challenging. We’re young, but it will be fun to see how much we improve and stay together.”

From the USC Trojan’s site: USC Women’s Basketball Season Outlook

The Ivy: Quakers and Tigers look like top contenders

A10: Women’s basketball forwards poised for dominant season

Entering this season, George Washington women’s basketball head coach Jonathan Tsipis has an advantage that no other coach in the Atlantic 10 can claim: two all-conference forwards who compete against each other every day in practice.

After impressive debuts for both players put them on the conference radar, Caira Washington and Jonquel Jones head into their second seasons together as the starting frontcourt for Tsipis. The two combine to form arguably the best one-two punch in the Atlantic 10, an element that only helps the duo day-in and day-out at practice.

Interviews and video mash ups:

Finally, in case you’re wondering about what is or isn’t important….

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So, where are they going? Here’s the bracket.

So, what’s the reaction?

Sue at “They’re Playing Basketball,” has some quick thoughts.

Charlie goes “Huh?” at the missing Cardinal: Stanford deserved No. 1 seed – South Carolina’s No. 1 seed is puzzling; Louisville getting a 3 not as surprising

The answer to this year’s biggest burning question is right at the top of the bracket: Connecticut was sent to Lincoln, much to the satisfaction of most of the women’s college basketball world.

But a lot of other questions weren’t so easy to answer:

Michelle’s talking bracket winners and losers.

Graham says Tennessee faces toughest regional

Mechelle tries to spoke some road bumps for the Irish and Huskies:

Connecticut and Notre Dame have a chance to finish this season undefeated. The two former conference rivals are No. 1 seeds in the women’s NCAA tournament and could meet for the championship April 8 in Nashville, Tenn.

Of course, both teams will try to keep the focus on what’s right in front of them, not what’s down the road. Here’s a look at their potential paths before a possible clash of the titans.

She also cranks out Perfect approach for UConn, ND

After winning the ACC tournament, Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw dodged discussion of her Irish and Connecticut potentially meeting in the women’s Final Four again.

McGraw drolly noted that she didn’t think the selection committee would have Notre Dame and UConn meeting in the first round; thus, she wasn’t going to focus on the Huskies.

 Of course, the two undefeated teams in this year’s NCAA women’s tournament are in opposite halves of the bracket, with the potential for an epic national championship game April 8 in Nashville, Tenn.

There have been seven undefeated champions in women’s basketball in the NCAA era, which began in the 1981-82 season. Four of them were UConn teams: 1995, 2002, 2009 and 2010. The others were Texas (1986), Tennessee (1998) and Baylor (2012). 

Interestingly enough, though, the only other time there were two unbeaten teams entering NCAA women’s tournament play, they actually did meet in the opening round.

ESPN’s five talking heads are doing some some quick analysis of the bracket.

Photos: It’s amazing… no, humbling, to see all the teams in their uniforms/regalia celebrating during the announcements and then seeing the Army women in their uniforms.

Speaking of Army, from the NY Times’ Zach Schonbrun: In Army’s Second N.C.A.A. Bid, a Bittersweet Connection to the First

At West Point, there was elation just to be included among the 64 best in the country. On Monday morning, Magarity received a text message from Jamie Dixon, the coach at Pittsburgh, congratulating the Black Knights for reaching the N.C.A.A. tournament for the second time. The first was in 2006, when the team was led by the vibrant oung coach Maggie Dixon, Jamie’s sister. Less than a month after losing in the first round to Tennessee, Dixon died from complications of an enlarged heart. She was 28.

Magarity was the associate coach of that 2005-6 team. Dixon’s sudden loss was “absolutely devastating,” Magarity said. It made him question whether coaching was the right path.

From Doug: Huskies, Irish, Lady Vols, Gamecocks earn 1 seeds (poke, poke, Muffet?)

Even though UConn and Notre Dame didn’t play this season, the two teams know plenty about each other having met 12 times over the previous three seasons. Notre Dame isn’t intimidated by Connecticut; the Irish have won seven of the past nine meetings with the Huskies.

”It was very unusual to go through a whole season without playing them, we’re so used to it, three times every year,” McGraw said. ”We’ve gotten pretty good at beating them the last couple of years.”

Have you checked out “Around The Rim” with Nell & Fran?

Random thoughts from me:

  • W/L: How about Stetson? How do those players and that program not deserve a chance over ASU and/or LSU?
  • Congrats Coach Scott — your friends at George Fox must be beaming.
  • The Old Big East sent seven to the Dance.
  • First round games I have my eye on: Gonzaga/JMU (Yes, LadySwish, Hard not to be in awe of Kenny Brooks and this JMU team), St. Joe’s/Georgia, DePaul/Oklahoma, PSU/Wichita, FGCU/Oklahoma State, Chattanooga/Syracuse

Finally, don’t get all het up about Stanford – Nerd Nation is chillin’

The other Dancin’ is happening at the WNIT. The field:

2014 Postseason
WNIT Teams
a=Automatic Berth

American (Patriot)
a-Arkansas State (Sun Belt)
a-Auburn (SEC)
Ball State (MAC)
a-Belmont (Ohio Valley)
a-Bowling Green (MAC)
Butler (Big East)
a-Cal Poly (Big West)
a-CSU Bakersfield (WAC)
Central Michigan (MAC)
Charlotte (Conference USA)
Colorado (Pac-12)
a-Colorado State (MWC)
a-Creighton (Big East)
a-Delaware (Colonial)
Duquesne (Atlantic 10)
East Carolina (Conference USA)
a-Furman (Southern)
George Washington (Atlantic 10)
a-Green Bay (Horizon)
Harvard (Ivy)
Hawaii (Big West)
a-High Point (Big South)
Indiana (Big Ten)
a-Indiana State (Missouri Valley)
a-Iona (Metro Atlantic)
IUPUI (Summit)
a-Lamar (Southland)
Marquette (Big East)
a-Miami (FL) (ACC)
Michigan (Big Ten)
a-Minnesota (Big Ten)
Mississippi State (SEC)
Missouri (SEC)
Montana (Big Sky)
a-Mount St. Mary’s (NEC)
a-Navy (Patriot)
a-North Carolina A&T (MEAC)
Northwestern (Big Ten)
Old Dominion (Conference USA)
Oregon (Pac-12)
a-Pacific (WCC)
a-Princeton (Ivy)
Quinnipiac (MAAC)
Rutgers (American)
Saint Mary’s (WCC)
San Diego (WCC)
Seton Hall (Big East)
SMU (American)
a-South Dakota State (Summit)
a-South Florida (American)
a-Southern Miss (Conference USA)
a-Southern Utah (Big Sky)
a-St. Bonaventure (Atlantic 10)
a-Stetson (Atlantic Sun)
a-Stony Brook (America East)
a-TCU (Big 12)
a-Texas Southern (SWAC)
Tulane (Conference USA)
UTEP (Conference USA 0
VCU (Atlantic 10)
Villanova (Big East)
a-Washington (Pac-12)
Washington State (Pac-12)

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Mechelle weighs in on the latest NCAA news: Regionals need neutral sites -One thing clear: We’re still looking for the right formula for women’s tourney sites

If you feel like we’ve been through all this before with women’s basketball … we have. More than once.

Wednesday, the NCAA released the early-round and regional sites for the 2014 Division I women’s tournament, and as expected, the regionals will be on teams’ home courts. That used to be common, before the NCAA went away from it a decade ago with the belief that it hindered the competitive equity of the tournament.

However, sometimes all things old are new again. The NCAA is always looking at how to increase attendance for women’s hoops. But for the past year, at least, it seems there has been an increasing mindset of, “How do we make more revenue from the tournament?”

Or to turn that around more pessimistically, “How do we lose less?”

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Ackerman’s white paper outlines recommendations to spark growth

Val Ackerman, the founding president of the WNBA and past president of USA Basketball, says a prevailing sentiment among stakeholders throughout intercollegiate women’s basketball is that the sport needs a jolt in order to spark growth.

While no one she spoke with thought the game was “broken,” the underlying theme throughout her many interviews was that women’s basketball has plateaued in recent years and that there is “a tremendous appetite for change” in the way the sport is played, marketed and managed.

More thoughts later, post digestion.

What do you think? Drop me your thoughts at womenshoopsblog@ gmail.com

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Sorry, Brittney, ODU’s Donovan is the one to beat out

SportsCenter is full of highlights of the feat, and the media keep repeating it, so it must be true, right? Baylor’s Brittney Griner is the NCAA leader in blocked shots with 665. Who she’d best to get it? Louella Tomlinson of St. Mary’s in California finished her career in 2011 with 663.

If you wonder why Anne Donovan’s 801 career blocked shots aren’t even a footnote in this conversation, it’s because the Old Dominion superstar played two of her years in the AIAW, and we’re not counting two years of her phenomenal shot-blocking statistics. Apparently, basketball statistics didn’t exist before the NCAA, a condescending attitude given Donovan and her Lady Monarch teammates Nancy Lieberman and Inge Nissen are regarded as some of the best to play this game.

 

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a visit to the Sports Economist blog brings me this interesting take from Victor Matheson who responds to Frank Deford’s lament: Where are the American women (golfers)?

Prior to Title IX and the explosion of women’s intercollegiate athletic programs, the potential for any economic returns for women athletes were limited to golf, tennis, and perhaps figure skating, meaning those sports should attract the best athletes. It’s should come as no surprise that Babe Didrikson Zaharias, probably the greatest female athlete of the 20th century, gave up track for a career in golf. In a world with large amounts of scholarship money available to college players, however, it is far from clear that golf or tennis provide the best opportunities for monetary rewards for female athletes.

A full athletic scholarship at my institution has a retail value of roughly $55,000 per year. While that’s a far cry from $2.9 million, it’s also much easier to attain. Fewer than 90 women’s golfers earned over $55,000 on the LPGA tour last year while over 60,000 women earned NCAA scholarships (although admittedly most of them were worth only a fraction of $55,000). Still, the total prize pool from all events on the LPGA last year was about $35,000,000 while the NCAA’s “prize pool” for women athletes outside of golf and tennis was about a billion dollars. Given these sorts of figures, it comes as no surprise that American women athletes have increasingly turned from golf and tennis to other sports where the reasonable chance of a small scholarship payout outweighs the nearly impossible chance of the “big bucks.”

Visiting the Title IX blog is always interesting. A recent post: Boys Excluded from Field Hockey Teams

What does Title IX say about this?  Contrary to suggestions in both stories, Title IX is not necessarily violated by a school that allows girls to try out for boys’ teams (football, say) but denies the same right to boys playing on girls’ teams.  For one reason, when it comes to contact sports, Title IX allows but does not require schools to allow cross-over participation.  There are some quirky definitions of contact sport out there — basketball is listed as a contact sport in the Title IX regulations — so it’s arguable field hockey shares this status as well.  More importantly, Title IX regulations recognize that girls’ athletic opportunities have “historically been limited,” which justifies their crossover participation in a way that does not apply to boys, who usually have and have always had more athletic opportunities overall.

Yet, I will throw out a Title IX argument in favor of Keeling Pilaro’s case.  Courts have held that once a school allows cross-over participation in situations where it is not required by Title IX, it may not then discriminate against that cross-over player on the basis of sex.  I would argue that Section XI has elected to allow Pilaro to play even though Title IX does not require it to do so. Therefore, it may not single him out for differential treatment based on sex. Clearly it has done so, as no girls are subject to the possibility of losing eligibility for being too good at the game.  Only Pilaro, because of his sex, faces the dilemma of playing well or playing at all.

Moreover, if I were in charge, I would opt to move the cross-over participation regulations out of the stone ages by (1) eliminating the contact sport exemption, which is blatantly rooted in sex stereotypes, and (2) requiring schools to allow cross-over participation to both sexes unless doing so would take away an actual opportunity from the underrepresented sex.

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From Jason King at ESPN: Baylor faces possible sanctions

The men’s and women’s basketball programs at Baylor University are facing possible NCAA sanctions following an investigation that uncovered more than 1,200 impermissible phone calls and text messages during a 29-month span.

Men’s coach Scott Drew, women’s coach Kim Mulkey and their assistants, were involved in the impermissible phone calls and texts. ESPN.com obtained a copy of the summary disposition, which was produced by the NCAA enforcement committee and Baylor.

 

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Holy Carp!

Howard suspends several student athletes, not competitive athletic program

Howard University has suspended several student-athletes from competition for possible NCAA infractions, but the school has not suspended its entire competitive athletics program, according to NBCWashington.com.

The school sent out a statement to NBCWashington News4 that read: “Howard University is conducting an internal investigation of possible NCAA rules-violations. As a result of this process, the University temporarily withheld a number of student-athletes from competition as a self-imposed action. Most teams will compete as scheduled. We are working diligently to fully resolve this matter as quickly as possible. In order to protect the integrity of this review, we are unable to share additional details at this time.”

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Mechelle weighs in with her 1st and 2nd team.

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…it’s never too early: Bracketology!

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Former Friar Doris Burke ’87 Named Recipient Of NCAA Silver Anniversary Award

Former Providence College women’s basketball stand-out and current NBA, WNBA and college basketball TV analyst, Doris Burke ’87, was named a recipient of the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award. The NCAA has named six former student-athletes as recipients of its Silver Anniversary Award that annually recognizes distinguished individuals on the 25th anniversary of the conclusion of their college athletics careers.

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thinking things through and making informed decisions: NCLR Applauds New NCAA Inclusion Policy Benefitting Transgender Student Athletes

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) last week announced that it has approved an important policy that clarifies opportunities for transgender student athletes to participate on college athletic teams in accordance with their gender identity.

The NCAA— which governs sports for more than 1,200 colleges and institutions—worked closely with the National Center for Lesbian Rights’ Sports Project and Griffin Educational Consulting to develop the policy, which according to the announcement “will allow a transgender student athlete to participate in sex-separated sports activities so long as the athlete’s use of hormone therapy is consistent with the NCAA policies and current medical standards.”

“I commend the NCAA’s commitment to creating and supporting an inclusive culture that fosters equitable participation for student athletes,” said NCLR Sports Project Director Helen Carroll. “That core value is strengthened as the NCAA unveils this new policy that will not only allow, but encourage transgender student athletes to participate on athletic teams. This is truly historic, and it will give transgender student athletes equal access and opportunities to play college-level sports without any obstacles.”

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Santa Clara.

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Ben writes

Women’s Basketball Doesn’t Need Justification The game speaks for itself.

“April, 2011: the month that women’s college basketball caught up to men’s college basketball.”Bill Simmons via Twitter, April 4, 2011

Hi, Bill. My name is Earth. Have we met?

***

Let me be clear about something – the women’s game doesn’t have to prove itself, validate itself, or justify itself to anyone. We don’t need an abysmal men’s NCAA championship game to feel better about the state of women’s basketball. The women’s national championship game between Notre Dame and Texas A&M (and, for that matter, the entire women’s tournament) is going to be/has been phenomenal from top to bottom and has showcased the growth of the women’s game spectacularly.

It makes no difference if the men’s national championship game between UConn and Butler was regarded as one of the best in history as opposed to one of the worst; correlation does not mean causation.

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From the NCAA: Gender-equity forum registration available online

After a year of high activity by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, which has issued two new Title IX letters of guidance, as well as important court decisions in athletics cases, the NCAA’s Office of Inclusion is inviting NCAA staff and faculty to attend the annual Gender Equity Forum. Registration for the NCAA Gender Equity Forum May 1-3 in Bethesda, Maryland, is available online.

The fee for NCAA institutional and conference staff members and NCAA affiliate organizations is $300, which includes all sessions, hotel accommodations for three nights and most meals. If an attendee doesn’t stay in the hotel where the conference is held, the fee is $125.

World-renown equity expert Donna Lopiano and organizational leaders and legal advisors are among the presenters who will address issues affecting women in intercollegiate sports. Attendees will be encouraged to actively participate in the sessions, which are designed to provide in-depth analysis of issues and practical solutions.

The agenda features instruction on all Title IX topics, including understanding the law and best practices for compliance. Sessions will include a variety of topics such as sexual harassment law and prevention, fundraising for women’s sports, equal pay policy, and student-athlete well-being and behavior. The NCAA’s emerging sports program and interest from the new sports of Acrobatics and Tumbling and Stunt will be a featured session. A roundtable luncheon with a variety of topics and networking reception also will occur on May 2.

For the first time the Forum will be preceded by a NACWAA Regional Executive Leadership Seminar, starting April 30th, offering NACWAA members professional development programming and networking opportunities.

The primary NCAA resource – the NCAA Gender Equity Manual – is available online and has recently been updated to include information about new case decisions and OCR enforcement activity.

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watching the program implode since his departure only underscores how vital he was to the Colonials’ success. Now, writes Graham, Coach, family find right fit at NU

Like a lot of coaches, Joe McKeown couldn’t resist temptation’s touch when what seemed the job of a lifetime opened up at Northwestern. The twist in the usual telling of the tale was that when McKeown left behind nearly two decades of accomplishments at George Washington to take over the smallest fish in one of the biggest ponds in college athletics, it wasn’t his lot in life that stood to benefit.

Northwestern was a curious choice for a coach with more than 500 victories and 17 NCAA tournament appearances — more of each, in fact, than the program that hired him had in its history. But it was the best choice for a father.

Graham also has a piece about one of the players McKeown is coaching: Jaeschke’s mission already complete  – Whether Northwestern reaches NCAA tournament, Wildcats are much-improved team

Northwestern is not lacking for overachievers. Walk around its quintessential college campus along the shores of Lake Michigan and you’ll find any number of students eager to suffer the winter wind chills in hopes of emerging as the next John Paul Stevens, Saul Bellow or perhaps Michael Wilbon, all among the school’s long litany of famous alumni.

Still, even amidst such a collection, Amy Jaeschke stands out for reasons beyond her 6-foot-5 frame. Northwestern is a perfect place if you want to follow in the footsteps of greatness, but Jaeschke had bolder, frankly brazen ambitions of blazing a new trail for a part of the college community a little behind the curve on excellence.

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An important history lesson from the NCAA that captures some of the passion and heartbreak that was the NCAA’s 1981 takeover of women”s championships from the AIAW. (Though there’s not a lot of discussion of how the NCAA fought tooth and nail against Title IX)

Charlotte West, an AIAW supporter and administrator at Southern Illinois, said she was “uncomfortable” throughout the debate. Grant had perhaps one of the most emotional speeches of the Convention, pleading with the delegates for “simple fairness” and “adherence to the concept that those to be governed have a right to directly determine by whom they are governed.”

“This is an opportunity for you to send a message to the leadership of this organization, and to the hundreds of women who cannot speak for themselves, that you will not take the women against their will,” she said.

Grant and fellow AIAW loyalists reported hearing pockets of booing in the crowd while they spoke and finding ugly caricatures of themselves scribbled on slips of scratch paper. (Frank and others deny hearing boos, saying the conduct in their immediate area was professional.)

“We all like people to get along, and goodness knows we had very different points of view in the AIAW,” West said. “We’d get up and argue, and you might vote one way and I’d vote another, but we were still very close colleagues. It was an entirely different feeling on the NCAA Convention floor. It was us against them.”

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Conference play is about to start (or, in some cases, has started). As the season continues, make sure you take a gander at the D-I Standings.

American East – The Danes are on top, but ouch, how much does Vt. miss May, Courtney and their ex-coach Dawley?

A-10: Suzie and her Dukes are on top, and their win over Ohio State (ignoring their recent tumbles) is more impressive than Xavier’s record.

ACC: Sure Duke and UNC are undefeated. But Miami is 14-1 and beat Georgetown. The Tarheels? Well…

A-Sun: Looks to be Florida Gulf Coast in a rout.

Big 12: Lots of wins…is Baylor the class of the lot?

Big East: So really, can West Virginia, Notre Dame and St. John’s challenge UConn? Sure.

Big Sky: Only Idaho State has a winning record. Can Portland State top’em?

Big South: Gardner-Webb has been fodder for some “big names,” but they stil sit atop the standings. NC-Ashville is lurking one win behind’em.

Big 10: Michigan St. has won 11 straight. And Penn State (at 12-3) is right behind’em. We’ll see if the Buckeyes can recover their footing.

Big West: It’s a UC-athon with Irvine and Santa Barbara 1,2.

Colonial: Drexel and Hofstra are at 8-3, as is Cynthia Cooper’s NC-Wilmington team.

Conf-USA: Ought to be a great battle between McFerrin’s Memphis Tigers and Stockton’s Tulane Green Wave.

Independents: That would be Cal State Bakersfield above .500.

Great West: The Jackrabbits still rule, but they’re only 8-7.

Horizon: No surprise, Green Bay is number one. Nice to see Wright State at #2.

Ivy: Yale’s upsets aside, the Princeton Tigers rule. How long will Banghart stay?

MAAC: Red Foxes deja rule.

Mid-American: Bowling Green (East), Eastern Michigan (West) – with Central Michigan on their heels.

MEAC: Hampton and their band are #1.

Missouri Valley: That would be Missouri State atop the standings, thought Illinois State is 2-0 in conference play.

Mountain West: Not really surprising to see Wyoming up top.

Northeast: Things are all bunched up between Monmouth, Fairleigh Dickinson and Sacred Heart.

Ohio Valley: Not withstanding their… record-setting, Tennessee Tech is 3-0 in the conference.

PAC-10: It’s early, but UCLA is ranked #1 and Stanford #5.

Patriot League: American may be recovering from the loss of coach McFerrin.

SEC: Arkansas was at 12-0, but just lost to Florida. Next up will be Kentucky, and we’ll see how legit their record is.

Southern: UNC Greensboro is 6-5 and Samford 9-3. But UNC is 3-0 in Conference.

Southland: That would be Southeastern Louisiana (East) and Lamar (West).

SWAC: No team has a winning out-of-conference record.

Summitt: A similar situation to Southern: Oral Roberts is 7-7 and Southern Utah is 9-5, but O.R. is 4-0.

Sunbelt:In the East, that would be the High Toppers at 1-0 (and 4-8). Middle Tennessee is 9-4. The West features Denver in the top slot.

West Coast: Gonzaga rules.

WAC: Nevada enters conference play at 11-2.

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From Mel

Guru Report: Mining RPIs Part I

It is a tradition in the Guru’s inner sanctum that this is the week he takes the first look at an RPI Report – The acronym stands for Ratings Percentage Index – to get some kind of picture of what lies ahead in terms of the NCAA long-range outlook and who needs to step it up in conference play, what are the surprises and what are the disappointments.

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From Mel: Drexel Tops Tulsa For Best-Ever Seasonal Start

Foreign affairs continue to be a hallmark of the Drexel women’s basketball team, which set another program milestone Thursday night courtesy of a 64-47 nonconference win over Tulsa at the Daskalakis Athletic Center.
For the previous four years Romanian Gabriela Marginean had been the toast of the school in becoming the all-time local career women’s collegiate scorer out of all three NCAA divisions of competition.

She helped lead the Dragons to their first Colonial Athletic Association title and NCAA tournament appearance in 2007-08.

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Milton Kent: FanHouse Women’s Basketball Terrific 12

Welcome to the inaugural edition of the FanHouse Terrific 12!

Each Tuesday, FanHouse’s Michelle Smith and Milton Kent will walk you through the best of the week gone by in women’s college basketball, identifying the dozen best teams and performances, not just from the power leagues, but also from the mid-majors.

I want to know why their stuff rarely comes through my news alerts..,.. (hint, hint)

We’ll also give you a quick preview of the big games on the docket for the coming week, with an eye toward the most meaningful inter-league and non-conference contests between teams that are bound to make a splash come tournament time.

Speakin’ of Michelle, from her Left Coast Hoops blog: Candice Wiggins talks about World AIDS Day

I’ve known Candice Wiggins since she was a 17-year-old at Stanford. She has always been remarkably dignified and open about her family story and her father’s death from AIDS.

Dec. 1 is World AIDS Day and Candice talked to me yesterday with her usual honesty and passion.

She is participating in a Public Service Announcement with the NBA and the organization Greater Than AIDS. This is worth passing along.


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Wise choice!

What an Amazing Game!!! Congratulations, Terps!!!

The picture should give you a hint that today’s most exciting game for Terps fans, in the BCs’ opinion, was the one held outside at the Field Hockey Complex. That’s where a standing room only crowd (10 deep!) saw the Maryland Field Hockey team win the NCAA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP in double OT, 3-2, over defending champ UNC . . . and lucky us, the BCs were on hand to witness this intense, exhausting, well-played, nailbiter of an event. As a bonus, it was played on a beautiful, sunny day, in a state-of-the-art facility on Maryland’s campus. What a wonderful place to win a Natty and what a fitting way to crown a champion!

***
Among the fans who packed the FH Complex were plenty of familiar faces; fans we’re used to seeing indoors, at basketball games. If the Natty game had been decided in regulation, we would’ve had time to watch it end, cheer the Terps’ trophy presentation, and still make it to Comcast for the tip-off of Maryland (basketball) versus American U. But we don’t regret the extra time. As basketball fans, we know how exciting, how memorable it is to see your team win a Championship in overtime. Now we can say that double overtime is also our time.

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From Graham: Kristen Doherty does little bit of everything

If Boston College is going to make a run at its first NCAA tournament appearance since 2006 with just nine players on the roster, it’s going to need to steal a game or two from the six teams picked to finish ahead of it in the ACC.

The good news is that if the first four games of Kristen Doherty’s college career are any indication, the Eagles have a thief as entertaining to watch as anything this side of the “Oceans” movie franchise.

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Well, En Vogue ain’t  in vogue at the moment, but I keep hoping.

The Title IX blog’s been following the use of the law to battle bullying. Recently, the NCAA’s been getting the hint: OCR says institutions obligated by law to end harassment

Bullying could be a violation of civil rights, and schools and universities are obligated to take appropriate steps to end harassment, according to a recent clarification letter issued by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

Failure to stop the behavior and remediate the victim could be a violation of:

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Jessica Breland returns to Tar Heels’ lineup (in rout of Ospreys)

At times, Jessica Breland looked like her old self by confidently knocking down a turnaround jumper or pulling down one-handed rebounds in traffic. There were also reminders that North Carolina’s fifth-year senior will need some time to get all the way back after missing last season.

Still, with her Hodgkin’s lymphoma in remission, being out on the court again for a real game was a big step.

I’m thinking Foster is thinking, “One down, three to go.” From Mel: Temple women fall to Ohio State, 84-75.

Though one important player was missing from the roster of No. 7 Ohio State, another was trouble enough for the Temple women’s basketball team in the season opener for both Friday night at the Liacouras Center.

In Louisville, the Lady Vols improved to 34-3 in season openers under Pat Summitt (I’m sure it’s stunning, but the new Cardinals arena is called the KFC Yum! Center. Sounds like a playhouse for Hello, Kitty!) (And really, if we can’t let this crap go, investigate or have a friggin’ confab and figure out how to address it. Time to move on, folks!)

Nice win for UCLA on the road against a (young) San Diego State team.

Welcome back to the NCAA, Anne Donovan. Her Hall lose to an always solid Florida Gulf team.

Only real “surprise” is Gonzaga going down to USC. The Seattle Times had 5 things you should be watching about the Bulldogs, Jayda said they are not satisfied with last year’s Sweet 16, but the Trojans were not impressed.

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A Look at College Teams of Philly Interest

The Temple women’s basketball team has been getting a little more recognition in preseason conversations these days as the Owls chase after an eighth straight NCAA tournament berth.

“In the past, no one knew what to expect from us,” Tonya Cardoza, third-year coach of the Owls, said. “Now I think the third place pick in the Atlantic Ten (from the league coaches) is a sign of respect for what we have been able to achieve. We have to live up to that and do better.”

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From Florida Media Insider Page: Top Opening Weekend Games

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The WNIT pre-season tournament starts tomorrow.

First-round Preseason WNIT games
All 2009-2010 team records in parentheses

Friday, Nov. 12, 2010
Austin Peay (15-18) at Purdue (15-17), 5 p.m. ET
Lamar (26-8) at Missouri State (22-11), 6:30 p.m. ET
St. Francis PA (17-15) at Toledo (25-9), 7 p.m. ET
Hampton (20-12) at JMU (26-7), 7 p.m. ET
Valparaiso (9-21) at DePaul (21-12), 8 p.m. ET
Utah Valley (10-22) at South Dakota State (22-11), 8 p.m. ET

Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010
Central Florida (11-16) at Florida (15-17), 4 p.m. ET
Iona (18-14) at Charlotte (18-14), 5 p.m. ET

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as if anticipating the *soon to come* list of the WHBMDRCOY list, Q writes about one obvious candidate:

Jennifer Azzi Makes A Strong First Impression On San Francisco Players

For most coaches, exhibition games are just a chance to play somebody different, most meaningful to the extent that they serve as something of a dress rehearsal.

But for first-year University of San Francisco coach Jennifer Azzi, there might have been a little added significance to the Dons 61-34 home win against Sonoma State University Friday night.

“Now no one will tell me anymore that I haven’t done it before,” quipped Azzi when asked about her first game coaching.

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