Big East, Big 12, ACC talk big picture

Big East commissioner John Marinatto says he has been in constant contact with Dan Beebe of the Big 12 and John Swofford of the ACC in recent days and has suggested the three meet to discuss conference realignment.

Marinatto on Tuesday didn't reveal details about his conversations with his fellow commissioners but said, "I thought it would be important for us to meet face to face and take the lead in trying to do things the right way."

Beebe's conference, which nearly was wiped out last year when the Pac-10 expanded, is in danger of losing Texas A&M to the SEC. If the Aggies end up in the SEC, the league would likely need to add at least one more member, and there has been rampant speculation the conference, which has 12 members, could target another school or schools from the Big 12, ACC or Big East.

In a statement to the Associated Press, Swofford said, "As it relates to conference realignment, if we can find a more structured way to do business with each other, we need to try to find it."

Conference USA, ESPN Settle suit: Conference USA's football championship game will now air on ESPN, not Fox, after the league and network settled a lawsuit. ESPN sued the conference in March, accusing it of violating their contract when it signed a deal with Fox. Conference USA, which includes UCF, announced in January it had reached a five-year deal with Fox's networks to broadcast its football championship game and other sports events. The sides said ESPN would televise the title game from 2011-15. The rest of the deal with Fox remains intact.

Penn State: Coach Joe Paterno said he feels great but is in "a little pain" after taking a blindside hit in practice, and he expects to coach from the sideline for the season opener against Indiana State on Sept. 3. Paterno, 84, was hospitalized after being hit on the sideline by receiver Devon Smith on Aug. 7; he hurt his right shoulder and pelvis.

Big East, Big 12, ACC talk big picture 08/16/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 1:32am]

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