Big East offices to remain in Providence
Saturday, September 22, 2012
The Big East may be moving to more of a national footprint, but the league offices aren't going to move at all.
Big East commissioner Mike Aresco, who joined GoLocal Sports on 103.7 FM Saturday morning, told listeners that the conference offices will be staying in Providence for the foreseeable future.
"I do see it (the Big East offices) staying in Providence," Aresco told GoLocal Sports. "What I think will happen, we've talked about a New York presence, and the reason is we're a national conference now and New York is a media center. But, I like the office in Providence, I think we've got a terrific office there, we've got a great staff, there's no reason to do anything with the main office."
Founded in Providence in 1979, the Big East Conference has always operated from its' Rhode Island base, even when the league expanded by adding football in 1991, and adding new schools to the membership ranks over the past 33 years. Founding commissioner Dave Gavitt moved from his role as athletic director at Providence College and began the league with the help of Mike Tranghese, also a former athletic department employee at PC. Tranghese became the conference's first full-time employee, and also replaced Gavitt as commissioner in 1990. John Marinatto, another former athletic director at Providence, replaced Tranghese in 2009, and Aresco took over the position after an interim period this past summer.
"Providence has been our home," Aresco explained. "We have great tradition (with) Dave Gavitt, one of the great visionaries; Mike Tranghese, who's been a close friend of mine for many years and what he did, and the contributions John Marinatto made in terms of reconstituting the league - we've got a proud tradition in Providence.
"Our office is stable and solid there," Aresco added. "We have no plans to move that."
Fans and followers of the league throughout the conference's footprint - as well as around the country - have long questioned why the Big East has remained in Providence, considerng the inclusion of big-time football and the addition of several major universities to the league over the past two decades, and because Providence doesn't play football. With league schools covering four different time zones beginning next year (2013-14 academic year), a more-centralized location might make sense. But does it make "cents" for the league - and for Rhode Island - to move away from its roots?
"In terms of having a New York presence, that's something we'll look into," Aresco said. "With presidents visiting, the media, that doesn't hurt, and also the perception of the Big East - having that kind of presence (in NYC) doesn't hurt. If we looked at a New York presence, it would be for various (marketing) reasons. But that presence would not mean moving the office out of Providence."