FILE - In this June 28, 2016, file photo, former University of Tennessee Women's Athletic Director Joan Cronan speaks about Pat Summitt, in Knoxville, Tenn. Cronan has been named the first recipient of the NCAA's new Pat Summitt Award. The Pat Summitt Awa
Wade Payne, File
January 11, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Former Tennessee women's athletic director Joan Cronan is the first recipient of the NCAA's new Pat Summitt Award.

The award will annually recognize an individual who positively influenced college athletes and their experiences.

NCAA President Mark Emmert cited Cronan's ''exemplary career'' in a statement Wednesday. He added she ''fostered opportunities for countless young women to succeed in sport and in life.''

Award recipients receive a $10,000 honorarium to donate to the organization of the honoree's choice that combats or researches neurological diseases. Cronan plans to donate to the Pat Summitt Foundation.

Cronan was the Tennessee women's athletic director from 1983 to 2012.

The award will be presented Jan. 19 during the NCAA convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

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