Big East To Hire Mike Aresco as Commissioner

By Joseph Nardone

CBS Sports executive vice president Mike Aresco looks like he will be taking a new job as the Big East commissioner. The announcement is expected to come Wednesday. Aresco been the vice president in charge of programming for CBS since 1996. His duties have included negotiating the contract rights for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Among his career highlights as the VP of programming Aresco also landed a 15 year deal with the SEC to air their conference games.

Aresco will replace John Marinatto who stepped down from the position after only 3 years at the helm. Marinatto felt the pressure coming down on him from university presidents after Pittsburgh and Syracuse made plans in late 2011 to leave for the ACC, and West Virginia jumping ship in October for the Big 12.

So far the Big East has tried to stay relevant(relatively speaking) by adding Central Florida, Houston, Memphis, SMU and Temple for all sports, and Boise State, San Diego State and Navy for football only.

Aresco biggest moment as commissioner will come early as the big for the Big East’s TV rights are coming up. On Sept. 1, ESPN and the Big East begin a 60-day exclusive negotiating period. If they don’t work out a deal, the Big East’s media rights go on the open market. Expect ESPN to make a fair offer and the Big East to agree rather quickly. Football is all but dead in the conference and the highly thought of basketball division is losing many key pieces. Other expected networks expected to figure in if ESPN and the Big East don’t agree is YES, SNY, FOX, CBS, and the other usual suspects.

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