- Brian Bennett, ESPN Staff Writer
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For those of you clamoring for the Big East to do something, anything instead of just sitting around and waiting for the Big Ten to pick off its teams, well, the league has done something.
Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue has been hired as an unpaid consultant for strategic planning by the Big East. The official party line is that Tagliabue will help assess the league's strengths and weaknesses and help in negotiating future TV and other media rights deals.
As far as I can tell, Tagliabue isn't riding into Providence on a white horse, ready to rally the troops and keep the league together at all costs. If a Big East school gets an invite from the Big Ten, it will still be on the first train out of Dodge.
But I've also long believed that the Big East isn't simply sitting on its hands. League officials don't want to discuss publicly their future plans, but I think John Marinatto, Nick Carparelli and other officials in the home office are far too bright not to be feverishly coming up with contingency plans. And having a sounding board with as much expertise and contacts in the media world as Tagliabue certainly can't help the cause.
Again, this isn't going to prevent a Big Ten invasion. But it is something.