Marinatto: Big East Schools ‘Committed'; Questions Still Surround UConn, Rutgers
NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – Big East Commissioner John Marinatto emerged from a three-hour meeting with officials from the league’s football schools on Tuesday to say his members “pledged to each other that they are committed to move forward together.”
The Big East has been staring at an uncertain future after Pittsburgh and Syracuse announced last weekend they are moving to the Atlantic Coast Conference.
But now it appears the Big East stands a good chance to survive — for now.
“The fact that all of our schools in less than 24 hours notice came here to New York to meet with us showed that they are committed to move forward together,” said Marinatto, “and they want to hear what we have to say in order to keep us together.”
According to USA Today, citing a source, Big East members “are committed to recruiting more schools but did not make any pledge to remaining in the league until it’s clear what the league will look like.”
Marinatto said all the league’s members — including Notre Dame, St. John’s and the six other non-football members — are committed to aggressively recruiting replacements for Syracuse and Pittsburgh, though he would not indicate which schools are candidates.
He said the league will enforce the 27-month notice agreement in its bylaws and not allow Syracuse and Pitt to leave until the 2014-15 academic year.
He also said he expects TCU to join the league in 2012 as previously agreed upon.
Despite their pledge to work together, the Big East still seems susceptible to another raid by the ACC or maybe the SEC.
Adding UConn and possibly Rutgers would allow the ACC to further extend its reach into the Northeast and the NYC television market.
The SEC will be up to 13 schools when Texas A&M’s move becomes official and even though it has said it can stay at the number, it seems logical to go to 14.
Missouri and the Big East’s West Virginia have both been speculated to be candidates and there were reports earlier Tuesday that the SEC and Missouri had a tentative agreement.
The SEC shot that down.
“The Southeastern Conference has not agreed formally or informally to accept any institution other than Texas A&M, and there have not been conference discussions regarding changes in divisional alignments,” commissioner Charles Bloom said.
Will the Big East survive? Sound off in the comments below…
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