Just a few days after Bob Bowlsby was introduced as the new Big 12 commissioner, the Big East will be forced to look for a new leader of its own.
According to Brett McMurphy of CBSSports.com, John Marinatto resigned Monday as the league's commissioner. He was reportedly asked to resign by the league's presidents Sunday.
The 54-year-old Marinatto, who was only the third Big East commissioner in the league's history, has served in the role since July 1, 2009, when he took over for Mike Tranghese. Tranghese had been the league's commissioner from 1990-2009. He took over for Dave Gavitt, who was the league's inaugural boss from 1979-1990.
Under Marinatto's leadership, the Big East has been hit hard by conference realignment. TCU and West Virginia departed for the Big 12, while Pittsburgh and Syracuse will head to the ACC in either 2013 or 2014. Programs such as Rutgers, Louisville and Connecticut have also reportedly had discussions with numerous other conferences.
However, Marinatto was able to keep the league viable by bringing in Memphis, Southern Methodist, Houston and Central Florida from Conference USA for all sports. He also added Navy, Boise State and San Diego State for football only, while Temple will leave the Atlantic 10 and MAC for all sports in the Big East as well.
The Big East will hold its spring meetings next week, so the timing certainly isn't great for Marinatto's departure. He has also been attending the BCS commissioner meetings the last four months as officials try to determine a new format for college football's postseason. The league also will need to start working on a new media rights deal with ESPN and other networks with its deal soon running out.
Joseph Bailey III, a former CEO of the Miami Dolphins, was named interim Big East commissioner. It will be interesting to see if league presidents vote to promote associate commish Nick Caparelli to the full-time gig, as he is familiar with what goes into striking a conference's TV deal.
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