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Cronyism wins

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From the Boston Globe:

After a four month search to find a replacement for retiring Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese, the Big East decided to stay in house and elevate senior associate commissioner John Marinatto. The final decision was made today at a meeting of Big East presidents in Philadelphia.

A press conference officially introducing Marinatto will be made Wednesday morning. The promotion of Marinatto, who joined the Big East staff in 2002, continues the linkage between the conference office and Providence College, with the league's first commissioner Dave Gavitt and Tranghese both having PC roots. Marinatto is from the same lineage, having served as sports information director and then athletic director for 15 years before moving to the Big East office in 2002 in an administrative capacity.

Tranghese announced his retirement last June and is expected to remain through the spring before Marinatto takes full control.

There goes any hope that the selection of the next BE commissioner would actually depend on merit and not ties to the Providence College athletic department. The sixteen-team Big East is no longer viable on any level. With this move, it's only a matter of time before the inevitable split. It's time for the eight football schools to start drawing up a divorce. Today officially marks the beginning of the beauty contest to find a ninth member of the new "Big East" football conference.

I expect fan reaction from the football schools to be almost uniformly negative to this move.