Jaimie Zaninovich and Dan Gavitt are out of the running; who will the new Big East hire?

Patrick McDermott

Big East presidents are looking outside the box for a commissioner, with the two candidates previously considered most-likely reportedly eliminated.

Early last week, rumors sprouted that the Big East would lock down a hire as their inaugural commissioner by the end of the week. Dan Gavitt, the offspring of original Big East founder Dave Gavitt, and West Coast Conference Commissioner Jaimie Zaninovich were thought to be two of the top candidates to take the post, particularly after the athletic director at Creighton offered a glowing endorsement for Zaninovich.

According to former Boston Globe reporter Mark Blaudschun, both candidates are out of the running, but the conference will look to have a leadership team (specifically a commissioner) in place in time for their Spring Meetings next week in West Palm Beach, Florida (where, strangely, the northeastern and midwestern conference will hold meetings despite having no members in that state).

The identity of the league's top candidates for its first commissioner haven't leaked into the public domain at this point, but Blaudschun believes that they will target an executive from either Major League Baseball or the NBA. The media savvy of those organizations makes alumni of those league offices attractive candidates for a league that hopes to remain relevant on television screens across the country.

They are willing to offer a salary that could reach into seven figures, according to the report, for the right candidate, and they are looking to base their league offices in New York City.

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