The Big East Conference has gone through a major shake-up in regard to college football recently, and the hits keep coming, as commissioner John Marinatto is stepping down, meaning it must find a new person to run the show.
Brett McMurphy of CBSSports first tweeted the breaking news:
BREAKING: John Marinatto has resigned as Big East commissioner, sources told @CBSSports— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyCBS) May 7, 2012
Update: May 7 at 10:10 a.m. ET
It's now official, as Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times tweeted the Big East confirmation:
Big East sends release confirming resignation of commissioner John Marinatto.— Greg Auman (@gregauman) May 7, 2012
Joe Schad of ESPN tweeted who the Big East has appointed as interim commissioner:
Joseph A. Bailey III is interim Big East Commissioner. Former Miami Dolphins CEO.— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) May 7, 2012
Marinatto was the third-ever Big East commissioner, taking the job in 2009. He's been involved with the conference for a number of years, previously serving as the senior associate commissioner, among other positions.
According to McMurphy's report on CBSSports.com, "Marinatto was asked to resign by the league's presidents Sunday, sources said."
The Big East is already going through major changes, and it looks as though it wanted to have a new commissioner as the league essentially starts fresh.
Over the last several months, the Big East has been hit hard with college football realignment, losing some key programs in basketball as well as football.
The Big East was looking pretty bleak, but Marinatto was able to add seven new teams, although some weren't the ones the conference had originally hoped for.
Still, adding Temple, Memphis, SMU, UCF, Houston, Boise State, San Diego State and Navy—starting in the 2012 season and ending in 2015, when Navy finally joins the conference—were excellent moves by Marinatto.
Something had to be done to help the Big East, and the commissioner made it possible for the conference to stay alive.
Sure, some of those teams aren't very strong in college football and don't really fit geographically with the conference name, but it's better than having only seven teams for the upcoming season.
There's no doubt that all of this realignment took a toll on Marinatto, as the pressure to help save the conference from falling apart had to be intense. Still, he did a solid job bringing in new teams before he decided to resign.
However, with a college football playoff in the works and the Big East soon to begin negotiations for media rights, members of the conference felt the best move was for Marinatto to no longer be in charge.