Big East officials say conference's outlook is bright

Posted: August 01, 2012

NEWPORT, R.I. - The Big East Conference is not dead yet.

At least that was the tone of senior associate commissioner Nick Carparelli's state of the league speech at Tuesday's conference media day.

"I will say with absolute certainty the Big East will continue to be one of the most competitive conferences in the country," he said. "And by any objective criteria you choose, the Big East has been, is today, and will continue to be one of the top conferences in the nation."

Carparelli's declaration comes at a time when the conference appears to be unraveling.

Former commissioner John Marinatto resigned in the spring after less than three years, and some reports claimed he was forced out.

His tenure was a rocky one. Big East powers West Virginia, Syracuse, and Pittsburgh left the conference. Texas Christian had planned to join the Big East but instead joined the Big 12.

West Virginia and Texas Christian joined the reconstructed Big 12 in July. Syracuse and Pitt will begin play in the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013. And there's a belief that Louisville would leave the Big East for the Big 12 in a heartbeat.

This season the league will consist of Temple, Rutgers, Louisville, Syracuse, Cincinnati, Connecticut, South Florida and Pitt. As Pitt and Syracuse leave, the Big East will add Boise State and San Diego State for football only for the 2013 season. Memphis, Houston, Southern Methodist, and Central Florida will join then as all-sports members. Navy and a to-be-determined team will join the league only for football in 2015.

With the Bowl Championship Series going away in two seasons, there appears to be a lot of uncertainty around the league.

"You sit there and you say to yourself, change can be a little bit uncomfortable sometimes," Temple coach Steve Addazio said. "But change is exciting. And it brings about great things. It brings about the best in everybody, athletic directors and coaches. You have to embrace it.

"The future of the Big East is phenomenal."

Commissioner search. The conference has a five-person short list for its next commissioner. The league would not release the names of the candidates. However, interim commissioner Joe Bailey said a selection could be made early this month.

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