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

UConn commit tears ACL for second time

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UConn commit Juwan Durham, a four-star big man in the Class of 2016, has torn the ACL in his right knee for the second time in seven months. The Florida native committed to the Huskies and head coach Kevin Ollie back in September. The 6-foot-9 forward is regarded as the No. 31 overall prospect in the national Class of 2016, so he can really be a force when he’s healthy.

In a report from’s Bob Putnam, UConn was notified of the injury immediately and there is no change in plans with the commitment. The Huskies also own commitments from four-star point guard Alterique Gilbert and three-star power forward Mamadou Diarra in the Class of 2016. Having Diarra, an active, rim-protecting presence, helps with Durham’s recovery, since he can provide some more front court depth.

If Durham rehabs back to full speed, UConn has a very talented power forward who was just hitting his stride in the Florida state playoffs last February. UConn has a nice class so far with this group, especially if Durham can recover, With a year to recover until next season, Durham can hopefully play during his freshman season in 2016.

VIDEO: Arizona State’s Torian Graham dunks over teammate

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Arizona State fans won’t get a chance to see Torian Graham take the floor this season, but he did sky over fellow teammates (and transfer) Shannon Evans on Friday night at the team’s Maroon and Gold Madness. The 6-foot-4 Graham is a former Buffalo commit — Evans also came from Buffalo — and both players will have to sit out the 2015-16 season due to NCAA transfer regulations.

Graham hasn’t had a chance to get into a Division I game, but he’ll be able to play for the Sun Devils next season. For now, fans can look forward to Graham’s athleticism on the wing in pregame dunk routines.

A former top-100 prospect, Graham also pulled off this ridiculous move in the dunk contest.