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Wednesday, August 15, 2012 - Page updated at 10:30 p.m.
Big East hires CBS executive Mike Aresco as commissioner
Big East hires CBS executive
Aresco as commissioner
As the Big East prepares to negotiate a television contract that might make or break the conference, it has chosen a man who has been part of some of the biggest media-rights deals in college sports to be its new commissioner.
The Big East on Tuesday hired Mike Aresco, who has been a CBS vice president in charge of programming since 1996, as it continues to rebuild from a tumultuous year of defections.
"I'm not daunted by it all. I embrace the challenge," Aresco said. "I would not be on the sidelines. I believe the reconstituted conference really has vast potential."
Aresco, 62, has handled CBS's contract negotiations with the NCAA for the rights to the men's basketball tournament and negotiated the network's 15-year deal with the Southeastern Conference.
The Southport, Conn., resident worked for ESPN for 12 years before his long run at CBS. He has not worked for a conference or university, but his experience lies in the field where the Big East seemingly needs the most help.
The conference is in the middle of a massive membership overhaul and will begin crucial negotiations on a new television contract in September.
"It would be hard to overstate it," Aresco said of the importance of the next TV contract. "I consider it job one. All eyes are going to be on it.
"I'm not making any predictions, but I'm very confident our value is going to be recognized and maximized."
On Sept. 1, ESPN and the Big East begin a 60-day exclusive negotiating period. If they don't work out a deal, the Big East's media rights go on the open market.
A year ago, the Big East turned down an offer to extend its contract with ESPN, reportedly for about $1.4 billion over nine years. Then the conference started to fall apart.
The departures of longtime members West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse preceded former commissioner John Marinatto's resignation in May. Joe Bailey has served as interim commissioner.
Union makes proposal
The National Hockey League Players' Association made its first proposal in the latest round of collective-bargaining talks with the league.
The union proposal includes a smaller percentage of revenues for players and an expanded revenue-sharing program to help struggling teams. Donald Fehr, executive director of the NHLPA, said the proposal could "stabilize the industry."
Fehr said players are set to surrender as much as $465 million in revenue under the proposal if the league continues to grow at an average rate.
Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and Steven Stamkos were among 23 players who participated in the meeting.
The existing collective-bargaining agreement expires Sept. 15.
Roddick has back spasms
American Andy Roddick developed back spasms during his opening match at the Western & Southern Open in Mason, Ohio, setting up a two-set loss that left questions about his health heading into the U.S. Open.
Roddick, who lost 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 to Jeremy Chardy of France, said his back started bothering him a few days ago and he aggravated the injury during the match. "It got progressively worse," he said.
The U.S. Open starts Aug. 27.
Man spied on swimmers
A court has delayed sentencing a British man who admitted spying on members of the Chinese Olympic swimming team in a women's changing room.
Declan Crosbie, 25, is accused of peering over the top of cubicles as members of the team were getting changed at a sports center where they were training in the northern city of Leeds. The swimmers were training in England ahead of the London Olympics.
Three members of the team complained they saw him looking over the top of the changing room's toilet cubicles. When staff at the sports center went to find him, he hid in a cubicle and tried to answer in a woman's voice.
Crosbie pleaded guilty to a charge of trespassing with intent to commit a sexual offense. He has previous convictions for voyeurism and trespassing.
• A federal judge in New York has refused to allow an early end to supervised release for a former NBA referee who took money from a professional gambler.
Former referee Tim Donaghy argued he should be released early because of good conduct and because it is difficult to find work while under court supervision. Donaghy admitted taking thousands of dollars from a gambler for inside tips on games, including games he worked. The scandal tarnished the reputation of the NBA and raised questions about the integrity of its officiating.
Donaghy pleaded guilty in 2008 to conspiracy to engage in wire fraud and transmitting betting information through interstate commerce. He was sentenced to 15 months in federal-prison camp and has served 33 of 36 months of supervised release. His sentence ends Nov. 3.
• Swingman Shabazz Muhammad, a highly rated freshman on UCLA's basketball team, is expected to stay behind when the Bruins travel to China for an exhibition tour next week, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
The NCAA is investigating the circumstances of Muhammad's recruitment and that process is unlikely to be finished before the team leaves Los Angeles for Beijing on Aug. 22, said the person, who was not authorized to discuss the matter because of the inquiry.
Muhammad would remain behind and attend classes, the source said.
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