Big East Commissioner John Marinatto Resigns After Trying Time of Realignment

Posted by EJacoby on May 7th, 2012

Evan Jacoby is a regular contributor for RTC. You can find him @evanjacoby on Twitter.

Since the Big East Conference was founded in 1979, there have been only three commissioners of a league that has featured stability and prosperity throughout its existence. But the landscape of college sports continues to change and the Big East is no exception. On Monday, Commissioner John Marinatto announced his resignation from the position, leaving a vacancy atop the country’s most dominant basketball conference. The status of the Big East as the nation’s premier basketball league may soon be in question now that Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and West Virginia are on their way out, which was likely a strong factor that came into play with this story. Marinatto was unable to follow in the footsteps of Dave Gavitt and Mike Tranghese, the first two Big East commissioners who each served for at least 11 years. Marinatto only lasted from July 2009 to May 2012 and simply became a victim of the greater effects of conference realignment.

John Marinatto is Out as Big East Commissioner (AP Photo/J. Giblin)

Marinatto was unable to please the Big East Board of Directors despite successfully expanding the league to 18 schools for the 2013-14 season, which includes new teams Memphis, Temple, SMU, Central Florida, Boise State, San Diego State, and Houston. However, of the 18-team league, only 13 will be playing Big East football in 2013, the sport that brings in the most money and affects the majority of decisions regarding realignment. In addition, the upcoming 18-team league does not include recently departed longtime members Syracuse and Pittsburgh, two of the top basketball programs in the entire country. The conference also lost longtime powerhouse West Virginia and new addition TCU to the Big 12, two huge football losses. “Our recent expansion efforts have stabilized the Conference for the long term,” said Marinatto in his statement, but reports suggest that he was asked to resign from the position, so not everyone was pleased by these efforts. “I felt this was the right time to step aside and to let someone else lead us through the next chapter of our evolution,” Marinatto added.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share this story

08.17.07 Fast Breaks

Posted by rtmsf on August 17th, 2007

Nothing like 100-degree heat to make you think college hoops, right: 

  • Our future Prez (ca. 2016 unless some redneck jacks him first) was a baller!  Barack Obama starred at D3 Occidental College back in the day (highlights here – let’s hope his FT shooting acumen is not indicative of a lack of concentration under pressure)
  • FAMU head coach Mike Gillespie was fired for stalking his ex-girlfriend – and yes, because you wouldn’t need a girlfriend unless it were so, he is married. 
  • What the hell is going on at Ball St.?  Coach Ronny Thompson (son of JT2) resigned in July, leaving in his wake an athletic dept smeared by his cries of racism and unfairness (also leaving a 9-22 first year record on the table).  The two black Ws – Wilbon and Whitlock – chime in with conflicting viewpoints on the situation, and new head coach Billy Taylor (from Lehigh) is now left with a mess to clean up.  Why couldn’t David Letterman take care of this?   
  • The NCAA says no more Pembroke States and UC-Davises in D1 for four years. 
  • Al Skinner is getting a raise from BC.  He’d better sign that extension quickly because Tyrese Rice by himself probably can’t cash those checks in 2007-08.   
  • Im-ass is getting sued for slander by one of the “nappy-headed hos” at Rutgers.  The conservatorium is up in arms over this, but we’re not really following their logic – are they really saying that this woman (and her teammates) were not defamed by Imus’s comments?  Seriously?   
  • Celebrations ensue in Madison, Columbus and other places midwestern as the Big 10 Network released its 2008 hoops schedule.  We’ve already circled that Feb. 6 tilt between Minnesota and Northwestern on our iPhone. 
  • W4M: ISO orange-clad GOB who won’t be offended by mannish tendencies and spirited versions of Rocky Top.  Must be willing to be dominated in life and bedroom.  Appreciates the nuances and subtleties of women’s sports (read: boring and lame). 
  • ESPN invented a way to air OJ Mayo three times early in the season – create a new Tournament!  The Anaheim Classic features USC and a bunch of mid-majors.  Expect to see The Juice Deux on tv a LOT this upcoming season. 
  • We’ve never heard of an athletic department bailing out the academic side of the shop, but we’ve also never seen an athletic juggernaut like Florida either. 
  • Gary Parrish exposes the seamier side of recruiting in this article.  Wait, there’s a seamier side?  We thought the whole thing was slimy to begin with.
  • MMAS puts forth its summer thoughts in two detailed postings about (mostly) BCS teams, but there are some valuable insights here.  Btw, we agree about the Vols. 
  • The WWL has an interesting piece on how teams push the envelope with the rules to get an edge.   
  • Rivals is well under way with its Top 64 teams of 2007-08. 
Share this story