Big East Sifting Through Turmoil

Big East Sifting Through Turmoil

Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia remain on their way out, and how that sits with football's Bowl Championship Series— and TV networks — remains to be seen. Now, the Big East Conference is shopping for a commissioner.

Amid the uncertainty comes a growing understanding: The league, once one of the country's top six in prestige and power, has slipped down the food chain.

"Now, there are five" on top, says Chuck Neinas, acting commissioner of the Big 12 and a longtime college athletics policymaker and shaper. "It's just an honest evaluation. The other leagues (Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Pacific-12 and Southeastern) have separated themselves."

Plundered by rival conferences, its television value in doubt and its membership restless, the Big East forced John Marinatto out Monday after three years as commissioner. It was under his watch that Pitt and Syracuse announced they're moving to the Atlantic Coast Conferenc and West Virginia jumped to the Big 12. TCU, recruited as a new member, detoured to the Big 12 before playing a game.

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