However, I think the Octonian had more to do with this secretly than the school presidents...
John Marinatto, only the third Big East commissioner in the league's history, resigned Monday as the Big East's commissioner, industry sources told CBSSports.com.
Marinatto, 54, has been the Big East's commissioner since July 1, 2009, when he took over for Mike Tranghese, the league's commissioner from 1990-2009. Dave Gavitt was the league's inaugural commissioner from 1979-1990.
Marinatto was asked to resign by the league's presidents Sunday, sources said.
The timing of Marinatto's exit comes exactly one week before the league's spring meetings will be held in Ponte Verda, Fla. Also, Marinatto has been representing the Big East in the BCS commissioner meetings the past four months to determine a new playoff format in 2014.
One of the uncertainties of the new playoff format is how much revenue the Big East will receive in the new plan. The Big East is an AQ conference, but in 2014 there will be no designations between AQ and non-AQ conferences so it's unknown if the Big East will receive the same size revenue shares as the other AQ leagues (SEC, Big Ten, Pac-12, Big 12 and ACC).
Also in September, the league will begin negotiations with ESPN and other networks on its new media rights deal.
Under Marinatto the Big East had been hit by several defections due to conference realignment -- TCU and West Virginia left for the Big 12 and Pittsburgh and Syracuse will leave for the ACC in 2013 or 2014.
However, Marinatto had brought in seven new members -- Temple, Memphis, SMU, UCF, Houston, Boise State, San Diego State and Navy. Temple will join in 2012 with the others joining in 2013, except Navy, which will join in 2015.
While Marinatto has received a lot of the public blame for the league's current instability, ironically Tranghese said it was Marinatto who saved the conference after Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech left the league in 2003.
"I was focused on how I was going to manage the dissolving of the conference," Tranghese told The New York Times. "While this whole thing was going on, John was off to the side developing the plan for how 16 teams would work. The whole plan.
"John Marinatto did the work and did the plan. John is the hardest worker I've known."To help stabilize the league, Marinatto recommended last October to increase the Big East's exit fee from $5 million to $12 million-$15 million. However, the league's presidents declined to do so.
Marinatto joined the Big East in 2002. Before that he was Providence's sports information director and athletic director for 14 years.