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.
For the fifth time since Nick Saban took over, Alabama football players have added some serious bling to their personal collections.
At the football team’s annual Steak & Beans dinner Monday night at the Mal Moore Athletics Facility, both the student-athletes and coaches were presented with their 2017 national championship rings. The thrilling overtime win over Georgia in the College Football Playoff title game was the program’s fifth since Saban came to the Crimson Tide in 2007.
The rings are, to say the least, impressive, encrusted with over 150 stones per the school. Of those 53 represents the number of wins for this most recent senior class.
Saban’s six national championships as a coach, including one at rival LSU, are tied the legendary Bear Bryant for the most in the sport’s history. The Crimson Tide has won a total of 17 national championships, the third-most in big-time college football history behind Princeton’s 28 and Yale’s 27.
Of course, numerous Crimson Tide football players took to social media to show off and celebrate their latest title hardware. The best use of Twitter, though, belonged to running back Bo Scarbrough, who took a not-so-thinly-veiled jab at UCF and the Knights’ unveiling “the only 2017 undefeated national championship ring this past weekend.
It appears we can finally, officially, put the Tim Drevno era at Michigan to bed.
In February, three days after Jim McElwain was officially hired as U-M’s quarterbacks coach and amidst rumors that the former Florida head coach could take over play-calling duties, Drevno announced that he would be stepping down as the Wolverines’ offensive coordinator. Drevno also served as the program’s offensive line coach.
Two months later, mlive.com obtained a copy of the coach’s resignation letter through the Freedom of Information Act. Drevno gave no specific reason for his resignation in the letter, stating only that he is “willing to help in any manner needed during the transition phase, but I fully understand if it is more appropriate to amicably sever ties in a more expedient way.”
Eight days after he left U-M, Drevno’s name was connected to a job at USC; two days later, the Trojans announced his hiring as running backs coach. This marks his second stint in the Land of Troy as he was line coach and running-game coordinator in 2014.
Drevno, who was also on Jim Harbaugh‘s staffs at Stanford and with the San Francisco 49ers, spent the past three seasons in Ann Arbor. Under Drevno’s direction, the Wolverines’ offense was tied for 91st nationally in averaging 25.2 points per game this past season.
Another day, another college football player takes to Twitter to announce a move.
The latest to use that social media site as an announcement delivery system is Korey Hernandez, who confirmed in a tweet Monday evening that he has decided to transfer from Arkansas. While the defensive back stated he has “made many unforgettable moments in the University of Arkansas football program,” he “decided to part ways and continue my career elsewhere… after taking time to think with my family.”
A three-star member of the Razorbacks’ 2017 recruiting class coming out of high school in Georgia, Hernandez was rated as the No. 90 safety in the country. He took a redshirt as a true freshman last season.
According to 247Sports, Hernandez is the third UA player to announce his intention to transfer since the conclusion of spring practice about two weeks ago, joining tight end Will Gragg and defensive back Reid Miller.
Even as he now resides in South Florida, it appears Mark Richt has lost control of Georgia football’s Twitter account.
Shortly before Saturday’s second spring game under Kirby Smart, UGA’s Twitter account for the football program was suspended. That marked the sixth time since January 17 of 2017 in which the account was suspended, and that suspension remains in effect as of this posting.
While there has been no official word from the university or athletic department on the latest suspension, it appears that it is related to, once again, a Digital Millennium Copyright Act takedown notice. Essentially, UGA is accused of using copyrighted music in their tweets, which has led to their five previous suspensions.
Along with the most recent suspension as well as the first in January of last year, UGA’s account was suspended June 20, 2017; July 27, 2017; August 14, 2017; and February 7, 2018. The last one came during National Signing Day, with USA Today noting at that time that “[t]he DMCA suspends accounts after three violations within a certain period.”