John Marinatto stepped down as Big East commissioner earlier this week, so I posed the question to everybody on the blog:
As of Thursday afternoon, nearly 1,700 people voted and 59 percent applaud the decision. Only 5 percent said it was a bad decision. Here are some of your comments. Consider this Mailbag No. 1 today, since there was not one midweek. Mailbag No. 2 will come later this afternoon.
Frank in Sarasota writes: I am not certain how I feel about the resignation of the commissioner. The plus side is a man that clearly was not properly monitoring the situation is gone now (see cuse/pitt exit), but on the minus side we have a man who was able to bring TCU and Boise State on board- at least until the aforementioned catastrophe. I do not believe anyone could have adequately saved this league under its current construction, but I keep feeling that he may have been the lesser evil. I guess as a Bulls fan I need to hope that FSU goes to the SEC and we get a call from the ACC.
Andrea Adelson: So can anyone save the league if fans in Tampa and Cincinnati and Louisville and Storrs and Piscataway are also looking for an out?
White Dog777: I am excited about the new Big East. This league is bigger than one man. As I have said in earlier posts, Marinatto turned the ship around and now the new CEO who I am confident will be very good is going to take the expanded, TV market rich, Big East to new heights. This is not C-USA or Mountain West, it is the surviving, thriving Big East that bends but NEVER breaks.
Adelson: There is major squabbling and infighting, but right now everybody in the Big East needs each other. I think a new commissioner can help deliver a tremendous TV deal that will keep everybody happy.
Bearcat Territory: I am concerned with the timing of Marinatto's exit. First, will the Big East be better off with (Joe) Bailey sitting in at the BCS meetings than Marinatto? Second, will the new commissioner be better prepared than Marinatto to negotiate a media contract? Obviously, the majority of our university presidents answered "yes" to both questions. I thought the prudent course would be for Marinatto to resign after he secured a new media contract later this year. Good guy by all accounts, but perhaps too naive or too kind to survive in this nasty business of college football.
Adelson: I think one of the big points in all this is to get somebody in place who can do a better job negotiating a TV contract. Somebody with contacts in the TV industry helps. As for the BCS, I am not sure how much clout Marinatto had to begin with so I don't know that it makes a difference who is in there. But you do bring up one concern -- will the new commissioner be totally up to speed with what has to happen with the television negotiations when he's hired? If Joe Bailey's timetable holds, a new commissioner will begin work in the same month TV negotiations can begin.
On The Banks: Fired for cause would have been preferred. I would be ecstatic, but it is years too late to fix things.
Adelson: Never say never.
Steven29492: He should have been adding new football teams before we got raided. It should not have ended with TCU. The man had no vision or forethought.
Adelson: I think the biggest knock against him was no vision or foresight. I can pretty much bet that former Pac-10 commissioner Tom Hansen would have never thought to try to raid the Big 12. But Larry Scott tried. It almost work. The Big East tried ... nothing.
WVUpsyco: Losing TCU to the Big 12 was the beginning of the end for Natto. Of course given an option for the Big 12 vs. Big East for TCU was a no brainer, but his passiveness with that situation was troubling. Other mistakes (were) not adding FB schools quick enough and pandering to the BBall only schools.
Adelson: Pitt and Syracuse left before that, so I'm not sure losing TCU was the beginning of the end. I do agree with your assessments on the mistakes he made.