According to CBS Sports college football writer and conference expansion guru Brett McMurphy, Big East commissioner John Marinatto has resigned his position. Earlier this morning, McMurphy tweeted:
BREAKING: John Marinatto has resigned as Big East commissioner, sources told @CBSSports— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyCBS) May 7, 2012
Speculation about why Marinatto would resign right now will be rampant and all of it will be just that: speculation. Is the Big East in danger of losing more teams? Are some of the expected expansion candidates not coming? Is the media rights deal not working out as well as was hoped? It's unclear at this point.
This is a particularly difficult time for the Big East to be looking for a commissioner as current BCS conference presidents are meeting in June to hammer out the final details of a new postseason format. Next year, the Big East will attempt to negotiate a new television contract. Now, apparently, it will do so with a new commissioner. The next commissioner, clearly, will have his or her hands full trying to negotiate a new television deal and fend off further attempts by other conferences to poach schools (Louisville, Cincinnati, Rutgers, Notre Dame, and UConn have all been rumored to be targets of other conferences to one degree or another).
Marinatto has been the Big East commissioner since 2009 after taking over for Mike Tranghese.
UPDATE AS OF 9:17 A.M.: According, again, to Brett McMurphy of CBS Sports, John Marinatto resigned as Big East commissioner because he was asked to by the league's presidents on Sunday night. McMurphy writes:
John Marinatto, only the third Big East commissioner in the league's history, resigned Monday as the Big East's commissioner, industry sources told CBSSports.com.
Marinatto, 54, has been the Big East's commissioner since July 1, 2009, when he took over for Mike Tranghese, the league's commissioner from 1990-2009. Dave Gavitt was the league's inaugural commissioner from 1979-1990.
Marinatto was asked to resign by the league's presidents Sunday, sources said.