Big East Commissioner Steps Down
After receiving a ton of scrutiny during his tenure for how he handled conference realignment, Big East commissioner John Marinatto has thrown in the towel. Several sources have reported to CBS Sports writer Brett McMurphy that Marinatto has resigned from his post, effective immediately. The move comes one day after the league's presidents reportedly asked Marinatto to resign.
The 54-year-old Marinatto had been serving as league commissioner since July 1, 2009, when he took over for Mike Tranghese, who held down the post from 1990-2009. Marinatto was only the third commissioner in league history, preceded by Tranghese and inaugural commissioner Dave Gavitt (served from 1979-1990).
The timing of this move isn't all that shocking, since the league's spring meetings were one week ago in Florida. During his tenure, Marinatto's ability to lead was widely questioned, as he watched several powerhouse programs start to make moves in conference realignment: TCU and West Virginia have left for the Big 12, while Pittsburgh and Syracuse will take off for the ACC in 2013 or 2014.
Marinatto did what he could to turn the Big East Conference into what I've deemed the "Manifest Destiny" Conference, bringing in eight new members that will gradually join the rest of the pack from 2012-2015: Temple, Memphis, SMU, Central Florida, Houston, Boise State, San Diego State and Navy. And much like the decisions being made by the other conferences across the country, these programs are joining mostly to stabilize the football side of the "Big East."
Another move being made by Marinatto to help stabilize the league was a proposal back in October to increase the Big East's exit fee from the current $5 million mark to roughly as high as $15 million. But by then, Marinatto was already running on borrowed time, and the clock officially hit 0:00 this morning.