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2011 Big East tax returns


I've been periodically checking GuideStar every so often to see when the Big East would release an updated 990 form (which nonprofits have to file with the IRS.) It was tough slogging for a while, but once again I finally hit pay dirt. Want to see what John Marinatto made last year for his "leadership"? That'll be page 7. Revenue numbers start on page 9. What exactly is the difference between the two sets of payout figures? One says Rutgers was paid $8.16 million by the Big East, while the other says $4.36 million. (Both sets include all schools, and aren't broken down by sport.) In fact, I think they went and filed an updated 2010 form that didn't include that breakdown, as I remember it from last year. Forms for private universities such as Syracuse remain a useful source of information - the last page of SU's sheet indicates a $1.9 million payout to Jim Boeheim, and a $1.26 million payout to Doug Marrone. Another item of note: the Big Ten paid approximately $23 million to its member teams in this time period, while the ACC ranged from $11 to $14 million.

Sources suggest that if NBC, which is desperate for sports inventory, signs a TV contract with the...


Sources suggest that if NBC, which is desperate for sports inventory, signs a TV contract with the conference, it would be willing to pay the Big East football teams $10 milllion apiece and throw in an additional $4 million for the 16 basketball schools. One of the network’s ideas may be to run a full day of Big East football, along with Notre Dame home games, from noon to midnight Saturdays on either NBC or its still-growing cable channel.

That's from the Daily News. Mark Blaudschun shares similar thoughts.

Memphis AD on ESPN/NBC bidding for Big East TV rights


Click the link, it has the transcript of a very interesting interview on this subject. Update: out of San Diego, some early projections have the new Big East contract paying all-sports teams $11 million per year. Take that, Brett McMurphy.

Big East dismisses ineffective, incompetent, deadweight commissioner


It's unfortunate that the Big East didn't do this a year ago when it might have actually done some good, but the ineffective and unqualified John Marinatto has finally been removed from his post. Now is the time for the Big East to purge any remnants of factions loyal to Marinatto/Tranghese/Gavitt. Marinatto should have never been hired in the first place over Kevin Weiberg or Nick Carparelli. Right now, the Big East's non-football programs to need to sit down, shut up, and get the hell out of the way while real men of action like Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti take charge of ongoing television rights negotiations. That's why Marinatto had to go now. You can't have some cronyist nitwit signing off on a crappy deal that would consign Big East football programs to poverty. It's time to play hardball, and whether the non-football schools get lost in the shuffle should be the least of the league's concerns. Now, if the conference wasn't being run by morons who hate football and making profits, we could have just listened to Pernetti a year ago and not seen the conference thrown into turmoil. Update: this ESPN report is laughably bad in many respects.

The Big East adding Memphis would be an unmitigated disaster


The Providence media (who else) started leaking these rumors recently, and now Brett McMurphy from CBS, who is close with John Marinatto, is now taking the rumors public? My response? Wait for Tom Luicci to confirm. As we saw with the Villanova rumors, what Providence wants does not always come to pass, because the Big East football teams can choose who they want to play against. Memphis would need 75% of the Big East football teams to agree before they join for football. Memphis, of course, is horrible at football, and has not been anywhere close to respectable over the past few years. The only way this remotely makes sense is if FedEx doubled their initial offer. For now, fans of competitive Big East football just need to hope that the dolts in Providence are trying to force their will on everyone else through the media again, and that the smart athletic directors like Tim Pernetti are trying to hold their ground. Pretty much, let's see what the Rutgers leaks are over the next few days. If Luicci are Sargeant say this is a done deal, THEN we're screwed. until then, there is still a flicker of hope. Update: and McMurphy says it's done.

The BYU kerfuffle


Brett McMurphy reporting that BYU is unlikely to join the Big East due to an unwillingness to surrender home television rights doesn't necessarily mean that BYU to the Big East is dead. It means they're negotiating through the media. Consider the source. If John Marinatto has a story to get out there, McMurphy is one of his preferred mouthpieces. Update: now the AP says the deal is dead. Naturally, the Big East will now go after San Diego State, because God forbid they actually offend Villanova by inviting Temple.

The Big East's lawsuit against West Virginia


It's not too interesting on the surface, but the main revelation is that the attached bylaws confirm previous media reports that the Big East needs a 75% majority on all votes. Big East football is also treated as a separate entity for football votes.

Lenn Robbins says Memphis could get in over Temple


In case there was any question that the Big East basketball schools run the conference like a dictatorship. The Big East is reportedly poised to add Memphis, because Temple would be too threatening to Villanova's privileged status. The same Memphis that would be the third BCS conference team in a relatively small state. The same Memphis that has one of the worst football programs in the country. I don't know if West Virginia's suit will succeed, but yeah, I think they at least have a good point that the Big East conference is intentionally wrecking football. Now everything is poised on federated members like Boise and Air Force actually joining - which probably happens, as the Big East is still far more desirable than the MWC or similar options. Stay tuned.

Rutgers asking NJ politicians to stay quiet on conference expansion


The Newark Star-Ledger is reporting that prominent New Jersey politicians, including Governor Chris Christie and Senator Frank Lautenberg, have offered to lobby for Rutgers University athletics during the ongoing period of conference reshuffling. Those gestures are appreciated, and it may well make sense for RU to tap those resources behind the scenes. In public however, there is little value to making a public spectacle, making Rutgers savvy to request that local politicians stay in the background now. Rutgers's entire bid to join the ACC and Big Ten is centered around dignity, prudence, and good judgment. Rutgers is the academically-oriented athletic program where student athletes don't make headlines for the wrong reasons. Nothing makes a school or an athletic department look worse than in appearing to prostrate and beg through the media. What did Louisville and West Virginia get out of Mitch McConnell and Joe Manchin trading press releases besides negative publicity? In fact, WVU's suit against the Big East publicly cites the comments of UConn president Susan Herbst and CT Governor Dan Malloy. Rutgers is clearly making the right call in trying to stay low key, and maneuvering behind the scenes. Besides, nothing's going to happen until Missouri and Notre Dame move anyway. Wouldn't it just be perfect if ND jumps to the ACC, and Boston College ends up blocking UConn's bid for the ACC due to their inability to keep their collective mouths shut in 2003? That scenario could be very well in play at the moment, and would be the perfect validation for Rutgers and Tim Pernetti playing it cool and refusing to panic.

West Virginia leaving for Big XII


Now the Big East conference is officially in its death throes. It's hard to feel any anger towards West Virginia over the move, just envy. Rutgers, West Virginia, and Pittsburgh led the fight over the summer to drag the Big East kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century. John Marinatto and co. responded by saying, "no thanks, we're good. By the way, you have to add Villanova or else." The Big East made its intentions loud and clear, which is why its basketball conference will soon be nothing more than a glorified Atlantic 10. Football rules college athletics, and any party unable or unwilling to acknowledge that will inevitably be trampled. Now the next domino in the ongoing reshuffling is Notre Dame, which conceivably could go to the Big XII, Big Ten, or ACC. Once they decide, the Big East formally dies, and any remaining Big East football schools learn their ultimate fate. Update: here's Mark Blaudschun talking up Notre Dame joining the ACC for everything but football, and UConn being #16. This scenario does not jibe with the ACC's public comments against federated membership and unequal revenue sharing.

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