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NCAA President Reveals the Plans to Improve Compensations for Women’s Basketball

Charlie Baker (Via NCAA/Twitter)

NCAA president Charlie Baker disclosed on Sunday his aim to implement unit distribution for the NCAA women’s tournament commencing from the 2024-25 season.

Currently, teams participating in the women’s NCAA tournament do not receive financial compensation, unlike their counterparts in the men’s NCAA tournament, where units are allocated to conferences for each game played and subsequently disbursed to schools.

Women’s coaches have advocated for this system to change for years, not only to address equity concerns but also to recognize the growth of the women’s game.

This change is now on the brink of realization, partly due to a new eight-year contract, which includes the broadcasting rights for 40 NCAA championships, including women’s basketball.

“We just signed a new contract, and women’s basketball is a big and significant part of that deal,” Baker stated.

Women’s Basketball (Via WNBL/Twitter)

“It will also send a significant signal to women’s basketball that participating in the tournament and performing well will lead to financial benefits, in addition to other rewards.”

Although not yet officially approved, Baker mentioned that the finance committee has targeted the 2024-25 season following the conclusion.

However, several committees still need to deliberate on the specifics of how the units would be distributed and the involvement of conferences. A full Division I membership vote would then be necessary in January during the NCAA convention.

Implementing unit distribution would further acknowledge the growth and increasing interest in women’s basketball.

In recent years, ratings have continued to rise, with the Elite Eight game between UConn and Iowa drawing a record 14.2 million viewers. Additionally, attendance for the first and second rounds of this year’s tournament set another record.

Charlie Baker (Via NCAA/Twitter)

South Carolina coach Dawn Staley has consistently highlighted over the past few years that women’s basketball has been undervalued and deserves more recognition.

“You look at what the 68 teams are going to divide up, I think I saw $170 million between the 68 teams,” Staley remarked during her pregame news conference on Saturday.

“When you start bringing in revenue like that, it will move your campus in a different direction when it comes to women. So we’ve got to fight for that.”

“I know we’re going to get units coming up here pretty soon. That can’t come soon enough,” added Iowa coach Lisa Bluder.

“Why are we waiting to put that in? Let’s do it now. Why wait? I think change has to happen a little bit quicker than what — they want to move.”

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