Providence, R.I. -- The BIG EAST Conference today announced the resignation of Commissioner John Marinatto.
"After a great deal of thought and prayer, I have decided to step down as Commissioner of the BIG EAST Conference and formally advised our Board of Directors," stated Marinatto. "I have been associated with this league for my entire adult life and have had the tremendous honor of serving as its Commissioner since 2009. Our recent expansion efforts have stabilized the Conference for the long term, and we are likewise well positioned for our very important upcoming television negotiations. As a result, I felt this was the right time to step aside and to let someone else lead us through the next chapter of our evolution. I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish and would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank both our membership and my staff for their unwavering encouragement, support and loyalty -- especially during this past year. I am extremely confident about the future of this league that I love very much."
"I know I speak for the entire Conference when I express my sincere gratitude to John for his leadership and dedicated years of service," said Dr. Judy Genshaft, President of the University of South Florida and Chair of the BIG EAST Conference. "John helped build the BIG EAST into what it is today, and played a critical role in our successful expansion efforts, and for all of that we thank him."
Joseph A. Bailey III will today assume the position of interim Commissioner of the BIG EAST until a new Commissioner is selected. Bailey has extensive experience in the global sports industry as a leader, advisor and recruiter. He has served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Miami Dolphins, Chief Operating Officer of the World League/NFL, Vice President of Administration of the Dallas Cowboys and other senior positions. Most recently, he has served as the Managing Director of RSR Partners, a leading executive recruiting firm.
"Joe is a proven leader who will do a terrific job guiding the conference through this time of transition," said Genshaft. "His experience as a manager and his knowledge of the sports industry make Joe uniquely qualified to serve as interim Commissioner. He will move the Conference forward with a steady-hand as we explore new opportunities."
"The BIG EAST has a terrific future," said Bailey. "I'm excited to participate in shaping a new structure and strategic plans for the Conference, and I look forward to engaging on these matters with the leadership of all of the Conference's members, old and new alike."
The Conference also announced that it has retained The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to review its organizational design and structure. As the BIG EAST transitions to a national conference, its members will take this opportunity to position the Conference to maximize its media rights, branding and other strategies.
The search for the new Commissioner of the BIG EAST will be chaired Dr. Gregory H. Williams, the President of the University of Cincinnati and a member of the BIG EAST Executive Committee.
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