CBS Sports Exec VP/Programming Mike Aresco “will be officially announced” later this afternoon as the new Big East Commissioner, according to sportswriter Mark Blaudschun. Aresco has been “a guiding force in CBS’s college coverage and will be placed to guide the Big East through its new televison pact.” Although there were reports that ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas “had jumped into the mix, those proved to be just that -- rumors.” Another possibility “that emerged late Monday night was Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick,” but he “quickly took his name out of the mix.” There was speculation surrounding Big East Senior Associate Commissioner for Football & Marketing Nick Carparelli, former Patriot League General Counsel Jack Mula, Pac-12 Deputy Commissioner & COO Kevin Weiberg and MLB Exec VP/Business Tim Brosnan. Blaudschun noted other possibilities included former NCAA Senior VP/Basketball & Business Strategies Greg Shaheen and Celtics President Rich Gotham (AJERSEYGUY.com, 8/13). ESPN's Darren Rovell wrote on his Twitter feed, "The Big East hire of CBS' Mike Aresco is an acknowledgement that TV rights are the most important part of a commissioner's job today." CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd wrote, "Big East got what it needed, first FBS commish with big TV background. Now what?"
CONFERENCE HIRES BEVILACQUA HELFANT: CBSSPORTS.com's Matt Rybaltowski reported the Big East is "moving closer to securing" a new TV contract and has "retained Bevilacqua Helfant Ventures to be the lead negotiator" in the league's upcoming negotiations. The group, headed by co-founder Chris Bevilacqua and his partner Adam Helfant, "led negotiations for the Rose Bowl Game and the Pac-12 conference" last year. The Big East has an exclusive 60-day negotiating period with ESPN beginning on Sept. 1 (CBSSPORTS.com, 8/13). Bevilacqua said, "There’s no question this is a seller’s market. Look at every sports media rights transaction in the last 24 months. You’re seeing some spectacular outcomes, not just in college sports but across the sports media landscape. I would expect that trend to continue." He added, "In this case they’re the last conference franchise into the market for a long, long time" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 8/14). In Orlando, Iliana Limon Romero writes, "The pressure is on the Big East to make the most of favorable competitive television market conditions and broker a multi-million media rights agreement" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 8/14).