Football members of the Big East Conference with scheduling problems aren’t going get help anytime soon. John Marinatto, the incoming Commissioner, says football expansion is not a priority.
When questioned about the possibility, Marinatto told the Hartford Courant with no hint of recognizing the challenges facing the conference members:
“There was no specific item like that we talked about throughout the process or I’ve advanced as being one of our immediate priorities but no, there is no discussion of that at this point among the membership.”
How close are he and outgoing commish Mike Tranghese on the issue of football expansion?
“We obviously disagree on different items but on this specific issue I think we both are on the same page relative to where we stand right now in football. We’re open-minded and we’ve built in precautions obviously in the event something happens, a certain school or two become available from some other conferences but right now I don’t think there’s immediate plan or any plan for that matter to expand and he and I are on the same page on that.”
Which means of course that member schools will continue to struggle with scheduling out-of-conference schools, as well an unbalanced conference schedule in which they play three conferences games on the road one year and four the next. Someone will always have an advantage or be disadvantaged as a result.
Marinatto also quashed any suggestion of a split in the conference between the basketball and football schools.
“I think having bonded through the process of rebuilding the conference over the course of the past five years we’ve actually come together in a stronger way than we’ve ever been and the harmony and the unity and the comradery that exists among our 16 presidents, among our 16 athletic directors, speaks well to our future because there is such comradery and support for one another.”
More of the same, whether it’s good for the long-term future of the football members or not.