Last week, former Big East interim commissioner Joe Bailey spoke at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit. Among the discussed topics -- which I’m sure included “leveraging integrated verticals” or whatever other buzzwords business folk like to drop these days -- was whether the Big East needed to be called the Big East.
Indeed, Bailey admitted that the league had commissioned a study to “consider alternative names,” which makes sense at first glance. After all, by this time next year, the Big East will include San Diego State and Boise State and Memphis and Southern Methodist, none of which have much to do with the word “east.”
As it turns out, the new actual commissioner of the Big East, former television exec Mike Aresco, is having none of it. On Saturday, he told the Associated Press the league has no plans to change its name:
Aresco shot down speculation the Big East was considering tweaking its name because of its growth to a four time-zone league. Aresco says, “There’s tremendous brand equity built up in the Big East name.”
And there you have it. The reaction to Bailey’s revelation was largely critical, even snarky, so it’s no surprise Aresco was eager to walk back his predecessor’s quote. And it’s probably the right decision. No matter what it’s become, at least people know what the Big East is. They at least have a vague idea of what the name refers to. Changing that now, for the sake of geographical accuracy, doesn’t seem worth it.
After all, if the Big 12 can have 10 teams, and the Big 10 can have 12. Wait. My editors are now informing me that this Big 12/Big 10 joke is very old and played out, that this horse has been beaten beyond the point of recognition, and that I should just cut my losses and end this blog post now. Let’s do that.