Aresco foresees Big East stability & growth

With the passage of time, the possibility of a split between the football schools and non-football schools in the Big East Conference appears more remote than ever.

New Commissioner Mike Aresco addressed the issue while in Chicago over the weekend, indicating that the westward movement of the conference is essential to media deliberations and securing the future of the league.

“We have two sports that are equally important, and they can help each other,” Aresco told The DePaulia, the DePaul student newspaper. “The basketball-only schools derive great benefit from being with our football-basketball schools. The football-basketball schools benefit from the wonderful, strong heritage of the basketball schools. That, together, will mean a lot as we talk to the various networks.”

While disappointed with Notre Dame’s recent announcement that the Irish would be moving to the Atlantic Coast Conference, he indicated the decision of Notre Dame to finally make a move may have had a settling effect.

“They decided to move on, but that’s a clarifying moment in some ways in college sports. We think now that there will be a period of stability.

“One never knows in this business, but I believe that, I think a lot of people believe that, and I think that’ll enable all the conferences now to consolidate.”

He suggested that the conference would also consider a dedicated Big East Network, but his primary focus remains on negotiating the best possible television deal with a major network or a combination thereof.

“We need to do a good TV/media deal. We need to do a deal that gives our schools the resources they need, that gives them the confidence financially, the stability they need. And also the exposure they need.”

As for a recent report that a study had been commissioned to consider changing the name of the conference, “I don’t want to change our name. We want to tell our story while forging a very bright future.”

Mike Marra joins UofL staff after fateful practice session

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Mike Marra has suffered his last injury as a college basketball player.

He’s done after suffering another ACL injury during the first 10 minutes of a University of Louisville practice session Friday. The 6-foot-5 senior played two games last season before incurring his first ACL injury to the same knee.

Marra has already been offered and accepted a graduate assistant spot, starting his career in coaching under Rick Pitino.

Louisville with 10 Big East titles

University of Louisville athletic teams won 10 Big East Championships during the 2011-12 academic year, including five regular season titles and five post-season tournament honors.

Regular season titles – Baseball, football, women’s soccer, women’s softball, and women’s volleyball. UofL tied for first with St. John’s in baseball, and with Cincinnati and West Virginia in football.

Post-season honors – Men’s basketball, women’s softball, women’s track and field, and women’s swimming and diving.

Overall standings:

Since joining the league during the 2004-05 season, Louisville has won 50 Big East championships, second only to Notre Dame with 64. UConn, Syracuse and West Virginia are next in line with 36, 21 and 14, respectively.

Marinatto resignation may signal new direction for Big East, Notre Dame and Louisville

John Marinatto has resigned from his position as Commissioner of the Big East Conference, apparently encouraged by the college presidents to leave.

Now there’s a move sure to undermine any remaining confidence in the conference’s future. The person charged with bringing order to a chaotic situation is dismissed half way through the process? Why would the college presidents want to blow everything up when the conference appeared to be making progress despite all the challenges facing Marinatto?

The Commissioner he succeeded gave credit Monday to Marinatto for saving the league after Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College departed in 2005. Mike Tranghese told the New York Times that while he was focused on dissolving the conference, Marinatto was developing a plan to save it. And despite many obstacles, he had sealed deals with eight new universities during his most recent round of conference realignment.

One distinct possibility is that the time may have finally arrived for a split between the football and basketball schools. The Big East has been always been dominated by basketball schools in a landscape owned by college football ...

One distinct possibility is that the time may have finally arrived for a split between the football and basketball schools. The Big East has always been dominated by basketball schools in a landscape owned by college football, making it impossible for the league to position itself among the football power conferences. The football schools have little in common with the basketball schools anyway. Why hang with schools who are holding them back?

The college presidents may have finally concluded that the marriage was never a good arrangement and that the relationship is counter productive and not worth saving. Bring in some fresh thinking, hire someone not committed to the past.

One also has to suspect that Notre Dame played a key role in the decision to let Marinatto go. The Big East has rarely made a decision without the South Bend school asserting its influence. Maybe Notre Dame has decided that its arrangement with the conference is no longer tenable. A new commissioner would be free of the Notre Dame handcuffs.

The inescapable question is how his departure will affect Louisville, which has played an active role in helping to stabilize the conference. Marinatto no doubt played a role in getting UofL into the Big East and had to be appreciative of Tom Jurich’s commitment. Louisville may have even decided wait for an opportunity to join the Big 12 to help preserve the current conference.

But U of L deserves better than what is happening with the Big East.

The best possible situation would be that the rumors are true, that UofL, along with Brigham Young, is about to receive an invitation to join the Big 12. And possibly Notre Dame would join the Big 12 for all other sports than football.

That would be the most optimistic scenario in light of Marinatto’s resignation.