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Notre Dame Athletic Director Calls New Big East Commissioner “A Great Guy”

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) _ Notre Dame athletic director Jack
Swarbrick said he is encouraged by the Big East’s hiring of Mike
Aresco as its new commissioner.

Aresco, the former CBS vice president, was hired Tuesday. The
day before, the conference enlisted media consultant Chris
Bevilacqua to help negotiate a TV deal. Bevilacqua helped the
Pac-12 land a $3 billion media deal last year.

Swarbrick said the two personnel moves made a “statement with
an aggressive view of the Big East’s future.”

“I’ve worked with Mike, it must be 20 years. I’ve known him
well through my work with the NCAA,” Swarbrick told reporters
Thursday during media day at Notre Dame Stadium. “He’s a great
guy, with phenomenal people skills and management skills and great
ethics.”

Swarbrick said the two personnel moves made a “statement with
an aggressive view of the Big East’s future.”

“The long-term stability of the conference is critical to us,
so anything that contributes to that is a good thing, from our
perspective,” Swarbrick said.

Notre Dame is football independent, but competes in the Big East
in many of its other sports, including men’s and women’s
basketball. The Big East was forced to rebuild after losing
longtime members West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse.

Swarbrick said a more stable Big East could also lead the
independent football program to consider resuming its partnership
with the conference on secondary bowl options.

“In my time here, the affiliation has been for a single bowl
game,” said Swarbrick. “That creates challenges for us. We are
exploring a host of potential ways in which we might deepen the
number and nature of our bowl affiliations. There’s a lot of work
ahead in that but certainly working with The Big East on that is
one possibility.”

The Big East just ended a six-year contract with ESPN for men’s
and women’s basketball, and Sept. 1 will begin a 60-day exclusive
negotiating period with the network. If the two sides can’t reach a
deal, the Big East’s TV rights will hit the open market.

Swarbrick also unveiled new uniforms the Irish will wear for
their Oct. 6 game in Chicago against Miami.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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