After a great deal of thought and prayer, I have decided to step down as commissioner of the Big East Conference and formally advised our Board of Directors, Marinatto said in a statement.
Our recent expansion efforts have stabilized the Conference for the long term, and we are likewise well positioned for our very important upcoming television negotiations. As a result, I felt this was the right time to step aside and to let someone else lead us through the next chapter of our evolution.
Marinatto steps down after serving as the league's commissioner during its darkest hours. The league lost three of its founding members -- Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and West Virginia -- while battling irrelevancy during the conference realignment carousel. The Big East looked particularly unprepared under Marinatto's stewardship when the conference was caught completely off-guard when the ACC poached Pittsburgh and Syracuse in September.
The Big East did manage to survive through adding eight schools - Boise State, Central Florida, Houston, Memphis, Navy, San Diego State, SMU, and Temple - but the league's profile, especially the basketball-side of things, took a hit. ESPN reported that basketball-only members were upset with the way that Marinatto approached expansion and claim that they had no say in the process.
The Big East also faces potential issues with a BCS headed to a playoff model, which could reward the top-four power conferences and leave the Big East out in the cold.
CBS Sports reported that Marinatto was asked to step down on Sunday night.
Joseph Bailey, formerly the CEO of the Miami Dolphins, will serve as the commissioner on an interim basis.