Joseph Bailey III, the Big East’s interim commissioner after this week’s firing of John Marinatto, spoke with the media for the first time Wednesday and, contrary to the negative beliefs that some have about the future of the conference, Bailey maintained a more positive tone.
”I can tell you just from being in the meetings that I’ve been in, it’s not at all [deteriorating]. It’s a very cohesive, very focused group,” he said, recorded by the Associated Press.
After Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and West Virginia have departed for other conferences, with rumors that Louisville could do the same, the first chance for a public statement from the interim commissioner makes sure to affirm the league’s belief in its stability.
With ongoing discussions about the BCS structure and football’s influence over the conference’s future, it must also look toward the horizon, where major television negotiations, coming up this fall, stand in the near future.
The general feeling from yesterday’s press conference was something of a time-filler and space-holder, with nothing revolutionary brought to light.
This comes in the shadow of a massive deal that the ACC signed with ESPN yesterday, reportedly worth $3.6 billion over 15 years.
The extent of the vague and non-committal answers?
”I can’t tell you what the expectation market is, because that’s exactly what that is: expectations,” Bailey said. ”You can drive yourself nuts if you try and manage anything by what the expectation market is. I think sort of the reality of it is that media rights are increasing, and where it ends up, really I don’t think anybody really knows for sure.”
So we may not get anything concrete from the Big East for a few months, if yesterday’s holding pattern was any indication.