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NCAA, WBCA create group to give players voice on initiatives, issues

The NCAA and Women's Basketball Coaches Association have partnered to create the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Student-Athlete Engagement Group to give women's basketball players a greater voice on "initiatives, legislation and various issues."

The NCAA announced the new entity Monday.

The new group is intended to provide feedback and proposals specific to the experiences of women's basketball players while working in conjunction with existing groups like the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Oversight Committee and the Division I Council.

"I think this will allow people to feel like they have a voice in the decisions made about our sport specifically," said Colorado junior and Pac-12 representative Aubrey Knight. "Sometimes women's basketball gets overshadowed by men's basketball, but I think this group will help people understand they have a voice and an outlet to speak up. I think the goal is to hear directly from the student-athletes and allow them to talk about what is going well but also what isn't."

The new group will be comprised of 34 players, including one from each of the 32 Division I conferences. By virtue of their current roles as active players on the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Oversight Committee and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, respectively, Rutgers' Zipporah Broughton and Chattanooga's Liz Wood will also be part of the new group.

The players and NCAA liaisons, former Division I players Kelsey Gurganus, Sherika Montgomery, Ta'Shia Phillips and Alyssa Rice, will hold monthly virtual meetings.