DALLAS - FILE: John Marinatto, Big East Conference Commissioner, talks with the media after Texas Christian University accepted an invitation for full membership into The Big East Conference on November 29, 2010 in Fort Worth, Texas. It was reported May 7, 2012 that Big East commissioner John Marinatto has resigned from his position. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
When you live inside a bubble like the one that surrounds college sports long enough, you start to notice some things. You tend to see the same people writing about the same topics around the same time and, where their opinions differ and their opinions are the same. You build up a mental rolodex of everyone's stances and sides and agendas.
And then, eventually, you realize that everyone is full of crap and then you just try to block everything out.
Yesterday was the John Marinatto Farewell Tour around the college sports media world. It wasn't his fault, it was the Big East Presidents' fault. Big East commissioner is a thankless endeavor and literally the toughest job on Planet Earth. Marinatto was too much a man of integrity and commitment for the new world. And, of course, this is all Syracuse, Pitt and West Virginia's fault.
Speaking of Mike Tranghese, who said yesterday, "I thought that the basketball and football schools coexisted beautifully up to the point when Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia departed." First of all, that says a lot about Tranghese's hold on the reality of college athletics in 2012.
Second, let me remind you that Mike Tranghese is full of crap because he saw this coming all the way back in 1989 ("We will all rue the day..."). And here he is seven months ago saying part of the reason he retired was because he saw this coming.
"I would have worked another four or five years," he told Sporting News recently. "I knew all this stuff was coming. I knew it wasn’t ending. I knew the football structure of the Big East was fragile. It’s a hard way to operate. The problem with Big East football is they didn’t win enough games."
So, please, stop listening to Mike Tranghese. He's just making it up as he goes.
However, I think the point of Marinatto's demise was summed up best in the sarcastic opening paragraphs.
Go ahead and blame John Marinatto. Blame him for the Big East's instability and all the league's defections.
While you're at it, blame him for high gas prices, unemployment and even the torn ACLs recently suffered by Derrick Rose and Mariano Rivera. It's all Marinatto's fault. Everything that has gone wrong in the world since he took over as the Big East's commissioner on July 1, 2009 can be directly linked back to Marinatto.
Obviously, he's being facetious, but, actually it's true. Everything and anything that happened to the Big East since July 1, 2009 rests at John Marinatto's feet even if he didn't personally see to it happening.
We won't blame John Marinatto for high gas prices and unemployment but President Obama sure feels the heat on those matters even though the issues involved go far beyond anything he can control. Why? CAUSE HE'S THE GUY IN CHARGE.
Oh, the Big East Presidents were mean? Tough s**t, you're the commissioner. Do your job.
Being Big East commissioner is the toughest job in college sports? Guess what, he's making six figures (maybe more) to do it. I'm all cried out for Johnny.
Being Big East commissioner is a thankless endeavor? Then don't do it. Let someone else who can do the job take over. No one is required to be Big East commissioner.
Oh, the other conferences are pilfering your schools? Get bold and be proactive. (and no, going after TCU was not a proactive move, it was reactionary to everything else that was already happening in conference realignment).
People aren't acting with "integrity" and "loyalty"? I'm sure Conference USA felt the same way when the Big East raided it's best teams ten years ago.
My God, we love to boil down things like John Marinatto's resignation into black and white results. He's the good guy and the Big East Presidents are bad guys. Marinatto has integrity and Syracuse & Pitt don't. The world was beautiful place when John Marinatto became Big East commissioner and today is a nightmare landscape where we eat children and murder kittens.
I have no doubts that John Marinatto is a good man and that his intentions for the Big East have always been the best. I think of Greg Robinson the same way. He was a really nice guy with great intentions, too. And when the entire Syracuse football program imploded around him, I sure as hell didn't blame the trainers.
I blamed the guy in charge, because that's how it works.