The Big East announced a shakeup in leadership this week when its president, John Marinatto resigned. This came as no surprise, league presidents were calling for Marinatto’s head since Sunday night according to CBSSports.com.
Marinatto’s tenure as Big East commissioner lasted less than three years. His resignation comes amidst a retooling of the conference that began last season when both Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia announced their exit from the Big East.
Since last season, the league has expanded adding schools like Temple which will be joining the Big East this fall in football. In 2013 that list is longer with Central Florida, Houston, Memphis and SMU in all sports. San Diego State and Boise State will also join in 2013, but in football only. In 2015, Navy will join the conference in football only.
Marinatto was instrumental in the Big Easts’ retooling process and helped the conference stay afloat. He even convinced TCU to join the conference, but the program eventually decided that the greener pastures were in the Big 12.
Why would he be forced to resign then? While we all speculate, the conference announced that Joseph Bailey III, former CEO of the Miami Dolphins has been named interim commissioner.
What does this now mean for the Big East? Is the conference now left in shambles? Let’s not jump to too many conclusions just yet but before we do, it’s important to realize that Marinatto’s successor will attempt to negotiate a T.V deal reported to be with $100 million a year, a task that won’t be an easy one.
To be brutally honest, the Big East’s next president does have work to do but will be in a better position than anyone that came before him. Last season, the conference added eight teams. That, and a successful TV deal will boost the conference’s image after almost being left in shambles last season amidst a handful of schools exiting the conference.
Another hurdle for the Big Easts’ new commissioner will be getting acclimated to each school before the meeting with other BCS presidents in June. At that meeting in Ponte Vedra Beach Fl, the commissioners will be attempting to finalize a new post season format.
This is a particularly difficult time for a league to be without a commissioner. Especially after the complete make-over the Big East endured last season.
We are all just going to have to wait and see what happens and who the next leader of the Big East will be.