Monday, March 17, 2008

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Mar. 17, 2008) --- East Tennessee State University received one of 17 grants as part of the newly designed NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Grant Program.  Approximately $750,000 in grant money was given to schools and conferences by the NCAA.  ETSU received $45,000 as part of the program.


The grant program is designed to foster the growth of women's basketball on NCAA member campuses and within NCAA member conferences.


"We want to grow the game of women's basketball at the grass roots level," said NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Vice President Sue Donohoe. "We hope these grants will give schools and conferences the extra resources they need to enhance their women's basketball program."


"We are very excited about being awarded this prestigious grant from the NCAA to market and promote our women's basketball team," said Associate Athletic Director/Senior Woman Administrator Barbie Breedlove.  "The timing is perfect as we are coming off a 2008 Atlantic Sun Regular Season Championship, an A-Sun Tournament Championship and the first ever appearance by the Lady Bucs in the NCAA Basketball Championship. What better time to win an NCAA grant to market and promote our team!"


More than 70 member institutions and conferences submitted proposals in the first year of the three-year pilot program. National office staff and representatives from the NCAA women's basketball marketing consultant firm Hawkeye Sports and Entertainment evaluated the proposals. A call for the second round of proposals will be issued this fall for the 2009-10 academic year.


"We were thrilled with the response from the membership but would encourage every conference and institution to submit a proposal for next year," said Donohoe.  "We want to help our members create a buzz about women's basketball on their campus and in their communities."


The competition for the grants was very intense as institutions and conferences came up with original ideas for promoting women's basketball. 


"We're very pleased to be awarding this grant to ETSU.  We're excited for the Lady Bucs and can't wait to see the results," said Donohoe.


The program itself will undergo yearly evaluations to determine if the program objectives are being met.  The grants are awarded on a one-year basis and are not automatically renewed. 


Grant recipients are required to submit a monthly progress report and a final summary report.


A team of four members was appointed by Breedlove to help generate ways of growing the sport of women's basketball. Joining Breedlove was Sara Hacker (Marketing and Promotions Coordinator), Jennifer West (Assistant Women's Basketball Coach), Brandon Hudson (Ticket Manager) and Kevin Brown (Assistant Director for Athletic Media Relations).


"This team came up with some extremely creative ideas for growing women's basketball at ETSU," mentioned Breedlove.  "This group will now be tasked with implementing the activation model we presented to the NCAA and hopefully we will see a dramatic rise in attendance and awareness of ETSU Lady Buc Basketball. I would like to thank the grant team members and the NCAA for this award."


ETSU will start implementing its plan during the upcoming weeks and look to become a driving force in increasing exposure for women's basketball.


Other schools and conferences receiving grants are:


Institutional award recipients:


Arizona State University

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Columbia University

Florida State University

University of Louisville

University of Maryland, College Park 

University of Oklahoma

San Diego State University

Texas Tech University

University of Washington

Western Kentucky University


Conference award recipients:


Big Ten Conference

Conference USA

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference

Northeast Conference

Patriot League