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Marinatto ousted as head of Big East

The commissioner left after less than three years as the league's membership revolved.

John Marinatto became the Big East's third commissioner when he replaced Mike Tranghese in 2009. (Stew Milne/AP Photo)
John Marinatto became the Big East's third commissioner when he replaced Mike Tranghese in 2009. (Stew Milne/AP Photo)Read more

As Temple athletic director Bill Bradshaw sees it, John Marinatto had one of the toughest conference commissioner jobs around.

Perhaps that's why Marinatto resigned Monday after fewer than three years as the Big East Conference commissioner.

Joseph Bailey, the managing director of executive recruiting firm RSR Partners and former CEO of the Miami Dolphins, was named the interim commissioner. and USA Today reported that Marinatto's resignation was forced.

The Owls will join the Big East for football beginning with the 2012 season and for all other sports in 2013. In July, the school will officially leave the Mid-American Conference; it had been a football-only member of the MAC since 2007.

"I do believe that he has been commissioner of maybe the most challenging conference in all of the [Football Bowl Subdivision]," Bradshaw said of Marinatto. "The Big East is composed of very high-level basketball and high-level football at the same time.

"So his challenge maybe as commissioner may be the most difficult of all of the commissioners."

Marinatto became the conference's third commissioner when he replaced Mike Tranghese on July 1, 2009. During Marinatto's tenure, the Big East dealt with several defections due to conference realignment. West Virginia left for the Big 12. Pittsburgh and Syracuse will leave for the Atlantic Coast Conference as early as 2013.

Marinatto, who joined the conference in 2002 as a senior associate commissioner, was criticized by some for his management style and handling of the realignment process. He did, however, also bring in eight new members to keep the league intact.

In addition to Temple joining next season, 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 will join the league only for football in 2015.

"Our recent expansion efforts have stabilized the conference for the long term," Marinatto said in a statement. "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."

The Big East is scheduled to begin negotiations with ESPN and other media outlets in September.

Temple's "relationship with John was very positive," Bradshaw said. "He's a first-class individual. He's straightforward, high integrity, a good person.

"We haven't been in the conference. So our relationship with John has been with someone who we met with and I met with in October, 2010, for the first time to talk about Temple and the Big East."

Temple was a Big East member for football when the league added the sport in 1991. The Owls were kicked out in 2004 because of their lack of success on the field and at the box office.

In other Big East news, the conference announced it retained the Boston Consulting Group to review its organization design and structure as a way to maximize rights and brandings.