Big East Commissioner John Marinatto Resigns, UCF Not ConcernedBasketball, Football, Sports — By Allen Levin on May 12, 2012 at 9:08 pm Tweet
When the UCF Athletics program accepted a bid to join the Big East Conference last December, it was a huge victory and instrumental step for the school.
While there’s still plenty of excitement in Orlando regarding the move, which will happen in 2013, the Big East seems to be experiencing a little turbulence.
Commissioner John Marinatto resigned Sunday after a rocky year for the conference, which saw quite a few high profile programs bolt for other conferences, including Pittsburgh, TCU, West Virginia and Syracuse.
Marinatto spent three years as the Big East’s commissioner before he was reportedly asked to step down from the position by league presidents.
Despite the shake up of the Big East, UCF leaders are still looking forward to the move.
“It’s a great conference, a great platform,” UCF Athletic Director Todd Stansbury said to the Orlando Sentinel. “… We just need the fans to keep supporting all our teams and enjoy it.”
There have also been rumors that Boise State may back out of its commitment to the Big East because they haven’t officially informed the Mountain West of its departure.
Regardless, the move is beneficial for the Knights. There is still a huge boost in national media exposure, the elusive automatic qualifying tag, television contracts and better competition.
Now, the Big East will search for a new commissioner, in hopes of getting more lucrative television contracts, which may have also been part of the reason the Big East wanted to go a different direction with Marinatto.
“I wouldn’t read too much into that,” Stansbury said to the Sentinel regarding Marinatto’s departure. “Conference commissioners do change and it really doesn’t really change a lot as far as what’s going on in a conference. I think John did a great job navigating through some fairly treacherous waters. … We wish him a lot of luck.”
With the Big East restocking the league with UCF, Houston, SMU, Boise State and San Diego State, Knight Nation shouldn’t be worried. The conference still has its AQ status, still boasts arguably the best college basketball conference in the nation and provides a large increase in exposure for UCF.
The Knights enter their final season as a member of C-USA starting this fall.
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