Syracuse, Pitt Still Expected to Leave Big East in 2013

On John Marinatto’s watch, the Big East lost Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia.

In one of his last appearances as Commissioner, Marinatto said at the Big East Tournament that he was “open to having the discussions with both Pittsburgh and Syracuse” about them leaving the conference for the ACC in 2013 as opposed to 2014.

“Our membership is very pleased with where we’ve landed,” Marinatto said in March, “so I hope to engage in conversations with both Pittsburgh and Syracuse very soon.”

Now that he has stepped down and been replaced on an interim basis by Joe Bailey (pictured), nothing has changed. Both schools are expected to leave following the 2012-13 basketball season, sources told SNY.tv.

At that point, the Big East will add Memphis, Temple, Houston, UCF and SMU — featuring new coach Larry Brown — to what will then be an 18-team basketball league.

The Big East Tournament will also expand to include all 18 teams.

Bailey, who said a permanent Commissioner would likely be hired within 3-4 months, said he had no new information on the departures of Syracuse and Pittsburgh.

“I wish I could see around corners, but I can’t,” Bailey said Wednesday on a conference call. “So really, I would not want to in any way speculate on what’s going to happen with regards to those schools either way.  It’s really in one sense not my position to sort of think that way.”

Bailey also said he expects to have a limited role in the upcoming television negotiations this fall.

“I anticipate that I would not have a role in the negotiations themselves,” he said. “I’ll probably be informed of how they go. The executive committee has a decision that they’ll retain a consultant.”

The new ACC deal gives each school $17 annually until 2027, which could set the market for the Big East..

“I think the reality of it is that the media rights are increasing and where it ends up,” he said, “I don’t think anyone really knows for sure. “

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