Big East commissioner Mike Aresco fails to make impact moves

Chris Chambers

It's been a while since we've talked Big East here. And if you asked me to break down the new members, who is joining for what sports, and when, well ... let's just say you'd be out of luck. But I've been keeping a casual eye on the soon to be renamed Big East and I'm not all that impressed.

When Mike Aresco was brought in to replace John Marinatto as commissioner, the thought was that he was a shrewd businessman having come from the background in TV who would be able to breathe new life into the conference. No one expected a miracle or anything close to it, but the moves that have made so far haven't even made a small impact.

Now, I'm no fan of John Marinatto. We've already been over the exits of Pitt and Syracuse due in part to his lack of movement. But Marinatto had the right idea when he added TCU, Boise State, and San Diego State to the conference. Many scoffed at the Big East suddenly moving west, but it was a revolutionary idea when you think about it, and really the only realistic way to significantly improve the conference. The Big East would suddenly have more of a nationwide presence with the new additions. And while additions of Memphis, Houston, and SMU weren't as big, they accomplished the vision of moving farther west and finding potential opponents for Boise and San Diego State.

And here's the thing - the conference was out of quality options if they were to remain solely an eastern conference. Marinatto picking up three of the most successful non-AQ schools was a brilliant grab. He resigned about a year ago and Aresco took over later in the year.

So what have we seen in the Aresco regime? Boise State and San Diego State left (TCU previously left). So did Louisville and Rutgers. And Notre Dame pulled up their tent stakes, too. Then there was the implosion when the Catholic 7 decided they'd had enough. Meanwhile, Aresco added Tulane and East Carolina, and word on the street is now that Tulsa could be on their way in as well.

This isn't to bash Aresco. He knew it would be an uphill battle and things such as the Big East losing its automatic bid were out of his control. But Aresco simply hasn't delivered so far. Where should he go from here in trying to rebuild the league? Beats me, but I'm not the one getting paid to make those decisions. All I can tell you is that Aresco hasn't come up with the kind of game-changing ideas needed to make an impact on the conference.

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