Big East Conference interim commissioner Joe Bailey had his first teleconference with the media today. This was his first teleconference since replacing John Marinatto, who resigned Monday after fewer than three years as the Big East commissioner.
I will be providing a much more in-depth story about what was said during the teleconference in Thursday’s Inquirer. The Big East’s stability and national perception were hot topics.
But first, I wanted to provide a quick hit on my blog.
Here's some of Bailey's comments:
What are Bailey’s thoughts about speculations that conference schools that don’t play BCS football splitting from the league to form their own basketball conference?
“Yeah, I have a particular position on speculation versus reality.
“People that are stock brokers, stock pickers, people that pick games, things of that nature, are all spectators. They're in the expectation market.
“We, the people that operate entities, enterprises, not‑for‑profits, et cetera, should operate them based on the real marketplace, the reality of the situation.
“The reality of the situation is that there has been no indication from anybody that I have talked to ‑‑ and again, I haven't talked to everybody, but from anybody that I've talked to, I've talked to quite a number of people that there's any kind of ‑‑ even close to this idea of any kind of split.”
What’s the level of commitment from Boise State and San Diego State to become Big East football members in 2013? There has been a thought that the two schools could attempt to get out of their commitments.
“Well, my sense is that unless you hear differently, I think that there's full commitment from their standpoint.
“You can't ‑‑ there's an expectation market, and then there's the reality market. And the reality of it is that those schools have indicated, to my knowledge, to the executive committee and to the other members, that they have a big belief that the Big East is a really good partner for them.
“And when you think about it for a second, this is what this really is. You've got 18 institutions that are really partners; so it's not just one institution, but it's all institutions pulling together. “
Does he expect Syracuse and Pittsburgh to leave the league after next season?
“Well, the answer is, I wish I could see around corners, but I can't. 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.
“ I think that you have to recognize that my role is this transition role and transformational role preparing this particular position for another person, and that part of that is to help that individual transition into the role and the responsibilities and understand all of the different dynamics of the conference itself.
“But as to those specific kinds of questions like that, that's not ‑‑ that really isn't ‑‑ I can't do it because I'm not smart enough, I think.”
What can you do during your short tenure to refute the conference’s unraveling image?
“Well, I think, number one, as far as perceptions are concerned, it's very clear that the executive committee and the membership have made decisions about retaining really, really well respected strategy management consultants like Boston Consulting Group, Score Media for media, and others, to really evaluate in order to reframe, refocus, set the tone and move forward.
“So that in and of itself should send an enormous and very strong message to the marketplace that the BIG EAST is very, very focused on making sure that the perception out there isn't what you just described.
“ And in fact, it isn't. I can tell you just from being in the meetings that I've been in, it's not at all. It's a very cohesive, very focused group.
“And in terms of what we can do internally with all the stakeholders is simply to continue to send a message that this is exactly what is taking place.
“ So it's a bit of really good communications internally along with very good communications externally.
Why do you think the Big East won’t diminish its role in determining the BCS system?
“Well, unless I'm mistaken, everybody has got a vote, and their vote is ‑‑ I mean, the Big East vote is like any other member's vote; it's the same. And you've got to be at the table where the Big East is at the table.”