Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue has the pedigree and the chops to save the Big East from an apparent demise.
But is it worth saving?
Tagliabue, who served as NFL commissioner from 1989-2006, is going to try as he was recently added as an unpaid consultant for the conference. This is good news for John Marinatto, the basketball first commish of the BE. Tagliabue hopes to assist with the negotiations of the conference's next TV deal and assist with strategic planning.
With the Big Ten ready to cripple the Big East by raiding it of up to four football members (Syracuse, Rutgers, Pittsburgh and Connecticut) what could Tagliabue really do?
For starters, he could convince Marinatto and the Big East presidents to up the bounty on any school who wants to exit from the current $5 million and 27-month wait.
With the Big Ten sticking to its 12- to 18-month window on expansion, there is a window for the Big East to get out in front. Currently, no team will leave before 2014 season.
Hopefully Tagliabue can convince Villanova-grad Marinatto the status quo isn't what's best for long-term viability ... and oh yea, basketball doesn't pay the bills.