Big East hires CBS executive vice president Mike Aresco as commissioner

first_imgThe Big East finally found its new leader.The conference announced Tuesday it has hired CBS Sports executive vice president Mike Aresco as its next commissioner.University of Cincinnati president Greg Williams, who served as chair of the commissioner search committee, said in the conference’s press release that Aresco was the best candidate to help the conference transition to its next chapter.“We had many outstanding candidates, but we are fortunate to have Mike Aresco as our new commissioner,” Williams said in the release. “His breadth of experience and depth of knowledge in intercollegiate athletics will continue to move the Big East forward on a successful path.“The Big East has enjoyed a great history. Mike Aresco will help assure the conference of a vibrant future.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFormer commissioner John Marinatto resigned in May after the Big East lost four schools to other conferences beginning last fall. Syracuse and Pittsburgh left for the Atlantic Coast Conference and West Virginia joined the Big 12. Texas Christian agreed to join the Big East, but then broke that agreement and joined the Big 12.As commissioner, Marinatto failed to secure a long-term television deal for the conference, which served as one of the primary reasons for the departures of the some of the Big East’s most high-profile members.Marinatto oversaw the addition of eight schools, with Temple joining for football this season and six more programs beginning competition in the conference in 2013.Boise State and San Diego State will join for football only, while Central Florida, Memphis, Houston and Southern Methodist will be members in all sports. Navy will join the Big East in 2015.Joe Bailey took over as interim commissioner, but he said from the start he had no interest in holding the position permanently.“The Presidents have acted very responsibly,” Bailey said in the release. “They have appointed a leader with integrity, intelligence and energy. ”In June, the Big East hired the search firm Russell Reynolds Associates to find a new commissioner. The conference wanted in a new leader who was experienced in handling television contract negotiations, and Aresco fits that description.Aresco, who has been CBS’ vice president in charge of programming since 1996, handled all college programming for the network.He led the negotiations that gave CBS and Turner Sports exclusive rights of NCAA men’s basketball tournament through 2024. Aresco also negotiated CBS’ 15-year television deal with the Southeastern Conference.Aresco previously worked for ESPN, where he oversaw long-term strategies for ESPN and ESPN2 college sports properties.The Big East and ESPN will begin a 60-day negotiating period on Sept. 1. If they fail to agree on a contract, the conference will be able to negotiate with any media company.Aresco’s background made him the most appealing candidate to bring stability to the Big East and help it thrive in the future, said Judy Genshaft, South Florida president and chair of the Big East CEO executive committee, in the release.“He has all of the characteristics that we need in a commissioner,” Genshaft said.  “His career has been filled with achievement and success in intercollegiate sports. Mike Aresco knows the Big East and he has a great vision for our future.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on August 13, 2012 at 7:26 pm Contact Chris: [email protected] | @chris_isemanlast_img read more