ETSU, A-Sun Receives NCAA Women's Basketball Grant
ETSU, A-Sun Receives NCAA Women's Basketball Grant
Thursday, June 24, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 24, 2010) - On Wednesday, the NCAA announced that the Atlantic Sun joined 13 other schools and conferences receiving funds as part of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Grant Program to increase awareness, exposure and attendance of women's basketball.


A total of 88 member schools and conferences submitted proposals in the third year of the pilot program.


East Tennessee State University, who received over $100,000 in grant money the last two years, provided the model to get the A-Sun involved to create awareness for the sport across the entire league. In 2009-10, ETSU increased its women's basketball attendance by 77.7 percent, and the Lady Bucs broke their single-game crowd when 3,518 fans saw the Blue and Gold defeat Chattanooga, 85-61, on Nov. 13.


As part of the grant, the member institutions of the Atlantic Sun will meet in Johnson City in July for a two-day, in-person seminar to begin planning for the year-long program. During this seminar, members of the ETSU Grant Team will share the successful ideas and experiences that have been used over the past two seasons.


"The Grant Team at ETSU is honored to be part of a collaborative effort with the A-Sun Conference staff to market, promote and grow the sport of women's basketball," said Senior Associate Athletic Director Barbie Breedlove. "The coaches, student-athletes and fans at ETSU have benefitted greatly from having received grant funding from the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Grant Program the last two years. In year three of the program, we hope to share our experience and expertise with the ten other A-Sun member institutions to help them promote attendance at women's basketball games."


National office staff served as evaluators of the proposals. Grants are awarded on a one-year basis and are not automatically renewed.


The 2010-11 grant recipients are the Atlantic Sun Conference, Bowling Green State University; Columbia University; University of Dayton; University of Hartford; Kansas State University; Miami University; Southern Illinois University at Carbondale; Stanford University; University of Florida; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; West Virginia University; Xavier University and the West Coast Conference. ETSU received Grants totaling $100,000 for 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons.


"Being awarded this Grant, in addition to having been the only conference in the country this past year to have 100% participation in the NCAA Women's Basketball Pack the House program, is exciting news," said Sherri Booker Atlantic Sun Senior Associate Commissioner. "We salute our member institutions for their dedication in promoting women's basketball and this Grant will allow us the opportunity to continue to do so. We have so many positive things occurring in our women's basketball programs and we will work hard to continue this success in the 2010-2011 year. ETSU has set the bar high and we are excited for the opportunity to continue their success in a conference-wide program."


The NCAA will continue to look for ways to provide marketing and guidance to schools and conferences to help promote women's basketball, she added.


This marketing initiative concept was generated from the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Discussion Group, chaired by the late NCAA President Myles Brand. The group consisted of head coaches, media representatives, former student-athletes, conference, institutional and Women's Basketball Coaches Association administrators. It has been strongly supported by the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Committee and the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Issues Committee.


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