NEWPORT, R.I. — The Big East has a five-person shortlist for its next commissioner and hopes to have a decision made by the end of the month.
Speaking at football media day, interim commissioner Joe Bailey confirmed the plans moving forward and expects a swift decision regarding the future leader of the conference.
“I think the search committee would love to have a lead candidate and a finalist and then you finally end up making that selection and have the person sitting in the seat by the end of the month,” Bailey said. “That’s a very, very fast, but thorough process and a great conclusion that we can get into.”
Bailey said the plans for the end of the month are feasible give or take a few days.
The search committee is looking at five people from different sectors of the industry and starting to further narrow down its choice.
“The search has done a fabulous job of combing the marketplace,” Bailey said. “They looked in the world of college athletics. Then they looked in the world of the sports industry ... and then they looked in the general sector. ... Out of that 200 and some people from a prospect standpoint, this is like the draft. You continue to whittle it down and whittle it down.”
Bailey did not release the names of any candidates.
“The search wants to present different candidates, all of whom are diverse, have different kinds of backgrounds, but at the end it’s up to the search committee to pick the one that they think for a whole variety of reasons, fits the best,” he said. “It ends up with competency, whether they can do it, and then chemistry.”
In other major conference news, associate commissioner Nick Carparelli made a series of plans public during his session with the media.
Most notably, the Big East will have a championship game next season, he said. The game will be played at the site of the higher seeded team.
“We will have a championship game next year,” Carparelli said. “It will be at the campus site or home venue of the highest ranked or best division leader.”
Carparrelli also confirmed the goal of adding a 14th team to enter alongside Navy in 2015. He witheld comment on specific schools in contention, but stated that the conference has not been in communication with Notre Dame about joining for football.
“I think the commitment to having a 14th team as it affects the number of games we would have is important,” Carparelli said. “Which team it is in particular, we don’t expect to name schools in negotiation.”
The Big East is still in the process of splitting its divisions for the 2013 season. The television deal and opportunities offered will play a key role in the splitting of the conference, Carparelli said.
“We had further conversations about that yesterday,” he said. “There’s a lot of great options on the table. ... No new options were presented.”