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From the Desk of Commissioner John Marinatto

TO: The Presidents and Athletics Directors of Big East Institution

FROM: John Marinatto

DATE: Our greatest hour

SUBJECT: Conference Realignment

I write to you to address some of the scurrilous rumors running around the Internet in the wake of the likely news that our conference will lose Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia. I believe that we have very little chance of convincing Syracuse and Pittsburgh to stay in conference What do you mean they've already gone to the ACC? In any case, I would like to forcefully answer the questions about my leadership an our conference's future.

First, I would like to respond to the critics of our approach to realignment issues. Some have argued that we were not aggressive enough, which is nonsense. We have long assumed a posture when it comes to conference realignment of aggressively waiting. This is why the Big East is in the prime position it's in, with such attractive expansion candidates as Central Florida and East Carolina. Drawing such notable institutions is not done by rushing into action, but by carefully and deliberately taking steps that no other BCS conference would take.

And these are not the only expansion opportunities ahead of the Big East. I can't divulge too many details of our latest negotiations, but I love the smell of FedEx money in the morning.

I would also like to urge our members not to overreact to losing West Virginia. Keep the focus on the programs who drive the Big East's top-tier sports. West Virginia had neither a field hockey nor a lacrosse. Really, the Mountaineers were just holding us back. Now, freed from their focus on "football," we can begin to draw marquee programs once again. Like Ohns-Jay Opkins-Hay!

If you have any further concerns about these matters, please email me or call me. As is my usual practice, I will get back to you in a day or five.

John Marinatto