<
>

Does change impact Pitt, Syracuse?

Shortly after the Big East completed its expansion plans, then-commissioner John Marinatto said there was a possibility Pitt and Syracuse could leave for the ACC a year earlier than planned.

Now that Marinatto has resigned, where does that leave the two outgoing schools?

In roughly the same spot.

Regardless of the commissioner, it is the league presidents who will decide whether Pitt and Syracuse can play in the ACC beginning in 2013. So a change in commissioner would seem to have little to no impact. League bylaws require outgoing schools to wait 27 months before departing. Though West Virginia filed suit to get out of the waiting period, Pitt and Syracuse both agreed to abide by the rules.

But after the Big East added Temple for the 2012 season, Marinatto reiterated that there was a possibility the two schools could leave early. Adding Temple had completed its expansion efforts, ensuring 12 members for the 2013 season -- not counting Pitt and Syracuse.

"We haven't actually had those conversations yet, but our membership is certainly willing to do that at this point given where we've landed," Marinatto said in March.

The last time Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson addressed the matter, in mid-March, he was hopeful a resolution could be reached with the remaining Big East schools.

"On the discussions I've had, they understand the situation we've been in and how we've tried to approach this, and they know we did the things we were asked to do as part of the league at that time," he said. "That's why I feel we'll arrive at a good conclusion. I think the best thing for all of us is for these things to end where they've re-formed themselves going forward, they've got a good, bright future and we're on our way to the ACC, and we have a great bright future, and we're excited about that. I think that's the way this thing can conclude."