The Big East has found its new commissioner, signifying at the same time that the conference has a clear — or, at least much better — understanding of what’s truly important to its survival:
First reported by Mark Blaudschun, the Big East announced Tuesday afternoon that it has hired CBS Sports Vice President Mike Aresco as its new commissioner. Aresco will begin assuming duties in early September.
“The search to identify the new Commissioner of The BIG EAST Conference was truly an international search,” said Greg Williams, University of Cincinnati President and Chair of the Commissioner Search Committee in a statement. “We had many outstanding candidates, but we are fortunate to have Mike Aresco as our new Commissioner. 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.”
It’s the right hire at the right time. Aresco’s first order of business will be to oversee the conference’s new TV deal discussion, which begins on Sept. 1 with a 60-day exclusive negotiating window with ESPN. Handling those negotiations will be Chris Bevilacqua of Bevilacqua Helfant Ventures. Bevilacqua led negotiations for the Pac-12 TV deal inked last year, as well as the Pac-12 Networks set to launch this week.
The next couple of months should mark the beginning of some stability for a conference in desperate need of some. The Big East lost four football members last year to the ACC (Pitt, Syracuse) and Big 12 (TCU, West Virginia), and struggled with new membership (re: Boise State) because of a lack of a longterm TV deal; the conference reportedly turned down a TV deal that would have paid all-sports members roughly $14 million annually.
The Big East’s former commissioner, John Marinatto, has since “retired.”
Whether the Big East can still get something in that ballpark remains to be seen, but at least the conference is hiring someone who understands the value of television as it relates to the overall health of the conference.
Less than two weeks after leaving the Pac-12, Casey Hughes has landed in the Big Ten.
Jan. 10, Hughes announced on Twitter that he had decided to transfer from Utah. Over the weekend, the defensive back confirmed that he will be transferring into the Michigan football program.
Hughes joins Jim Harbaugh‘s squad as a graduate transfer, which will allow him to use his final season of eligibility with the Wolverines this year.
Hughes started 11 games in 2017 for the Utes, missing two others because of injury. After taking a redshirt as a true freshman in 2014, the North Las Vegas native played in 18 the next two seasons. He didn’t start any of those contests.
After a brief sabbatical, Lindsey Scott is back in the SEC.
Scott confirmed on his personal Twitter account Monday evening that he has committed to continuing his collegiate playing career at Missouri. Per his social media missive, the quarterback opted for Mizzou over FBS programs like Kansas and UT-San Antonio.
A three-star member of the LSU’s 2016 recruiting class, Scott was rated as the No. 26 dual-threat quarterback in the country and No. 54 player at any position in the state of Louisiana. He took a redshirt his true freshman season.
In August of last year, Scott decided to transfer from the Tigers. He spent the 2017 season at Last Chance U, otherwise known as East Mississippi Community College.
After a brief junior-college pit stop, Keenan Forbes is back at a Power Five program.
Washington State confirmed over the weekend that Forbes has been added to the football program’s 2018 signing class. The offensive lineman has already enrolled in classes at the university and is expected to take part in spring practice in a couple of months.
Counting 2018, Forbes will have three seasons of eligibility at his disposal.
A three-star member of Iowa State’s 2016 recruiting class, the Florida high schooler chose ISU over his other finalist, Temple. After redshirting as a true freshman, Forbes opted to transfer from the Cyclones.
Forbes spent the 2017 season at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas.
It appears Urban Meyer‘s coaching staff at Ohio State will (for now) remain intact after all.
Over the weekend, reports surfaced that Ryan Day was considering leaving his job as Ohio State’s quarterbacks coach to join former OSU assistant and newly-minted NFL head coach Mike Vrabel as the offensive coordinator of the Tennessee Titans. A day later, one report has Day eschewing the NFL opportunity and remaining with Meyer and the Buckeyes.
Day just completed his first season with the Buckeyes, serving as both co-coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He has been a solo coordinator twice in his coaching career — at Temple in 2012 and then in 2013-14 at Boston College.
Prior to coming to OSU, Day was the quarterbacks coach for the San Francisco 49ers in 2016 and spent the 2015 season in the same job with the Philadelphia Eagles. Those were his first two stints at the NFL level.
Given that OSU will be breaking in a new quarterback in 2018, keeping Day on the staff is a significant win for Meyer’s program.