John Marinatto resigned as commissioner of the Big East Conference on Monday. He spent just three years on the job, but in that time he presided over some of the conference's most tumultuous times. Late last summer he took criticism for allowing Pittsburgh and Syracuse to jump to the ACC as the college football landscape shifted under realignment. Marinatto admitted that the stresses as commissioner of one of the NCAA's most beleaguered leagues were ultimately too much to handle.
"I've been running a marathon not only for the last eight months but for the last 2 1/2 years," Marinatto said. "As fulfilling as it can be, it is equally draining. All the assets are in place right now (in the Big East). It's probably time for a commercialized kind of perspective. Clearly the collegiate model is dead."
Marinatto is also due some credit for enticing Boise State to join the league and keep the conference afloat from a football standpoint. He also briefly drew in TCU before they did an about-face for the Big 12 without ever competing in a single athletic contest as a member of the Big East.
Marinatto said that he began conferring with conference presidents in April about retiring. He was the conference's third commissioner. Former Miami Dolphins CEO Joseph Bailey III will take over as the interim commissioner while Cincinnati president Gregory Williams chairs the search for a permanent replacement.
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