The Big East Conference is searching for new TV deal

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The Big East Conference could be switching networks.

ESPN has a 60-day exclusivity window to reach a new deal with the Big East (which ends next week), however the basketball-heavy conference is not going to do so. Rather the Big East will wait to negotiate its television rights with several other networks, including NBC Sports Network and FOX.

A return to ESPN is not being ruled out, according to ESPN’s Brett McMurphy. The Big East is attempting to up its value by adding other suitors, league sources told ESPN.

The Big East’s current six-year media rights deal is worth $3.12 million annually for each of the eight full members and $1.5 million annually for each of the eight non-football members. The eight football members split $13 million; the 16 basketball members split $24 million.

In April of 2011, former Big East commissioner John Marinatto recommended the Big East accept a nine-year deal from ESPN worth $1.17 billion, an average of $130 million annually. That deal would have earned full members $13.8 million a year and non-football members $2.43 million a year. However, the league’s presidents voted to turn it down.

At that time, that offer was comparable to the ACC’s media rights deal (then worth $155 million annually), but the Big East’s presidents gambled they could get a better deal by waiting until now.

It’s uncertain what the Big East’s new media rights deal will bring. Media estimates have varied drastically, putting the Big East’s media rights worth between $60 million to $130 million annually.

The landscape of the Big East has changed in the past 12 months. Syracuse, Pitt, Notre Dame, and West Virginia have all announced the we will leave or have already left the Big East.

Temple will join this year, while Boise State, San Diego State, Houston Central Florida, Memphis, Navy, and SMU all join by 2015.

Back in April at the Big East spring meetings, both NBC Sports and FOX made pitches to the league, with NBC leaving a strong impression.

Football has sparked the drastic change in the Big East in the last season, yet the league is still one of the best basketball conferences in the nation.

Hoops will play a big role in the new TV deal, especially after the Big East inked a new extension to stay in Madison Square Garden for the Big East Tournament.

Terrence is also the lead writer at and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

Wichita State’s Anton Grady improving after being hospitalized

James Woodard, Anton Grady, Ron Baker
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Wichita State senior forward Anton Grady received some positive news on Saturday as a neurosurgeon reviewed MRI results, which are negative for spinal cord trauma.

According to a release from Wichita State, doctors believed Grady suffered a spinal cord concussion during a collision on Friday after he was taken off the floor in a stretcher and taken to a hospital in an ambulance. CT and MRI scans on Friday both turned up negative, but the news of Saturday’s results are an even more encouraging sign for Grady.

The injury for Grady occurred during a Friday loss to Alabama during the AdvoCare Invitational as the senior’s condition has improved since the collision. Grady will receive physical therapy over the next few days and doctors will check his progress before he is released from the hospital.

Grady has been alert and responsive to questions and had feeling in his extremities on Friday, but the use of his arms and legs was limited. By Saturday morning, Grady had improved the use of his extremities.

The 6-foot-8 Grady has averaged 9 points and 6 rebounds per game this season in his first season with the Shockers. The Cleveland State transfer is shooting 39 percent from the field.

Colorado’s Tory Miller reprimanded by Pac-12 after biting opponent

Dusan Ristic, Tory Miller
AP Photo
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Colorado sophomore forward Tory Miller has been reprimanded by the Pac-12 and he also apologized for biting Air Force’s Hayden Graham earlier this week.

During Colorado’s win over Air Force on Wednesday, Miller was assessed a Flagrant 2 Dead Ball Technical Foul and ejected with 12:25 left in the second half after biting Graham during a loose ball.

In a release from the Pac-12, they announced reprimanding Miller, but he will not be suspended.

“All of our student-athletes must adhere to the Pac-12’s Standards of Conduct and Sportsman-ship,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in the release. “Regardless of Mr. Miller’s frustration and emotion, such behavior is unacceptable and he is being appropriately reprimanded.”

Miller also released his apology in the same release.

“I would like to apologize for my actions during the Air Force game. I would like to apologize to Hayden Graham, Air Force, my teammates and fans. It was a heat of the moment thing. I’m an emotional player, but I let my emotions get the best of me. I will use this as a learning experience and focus on helping my teammates and respecting my opponents for the rest of the season and beyond,” Miller said.

For Miller to not be suspended for this is good news for him and Colorado since he won’t miss any additional action, but did the Pac-12 make the right decision on this?