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Bilas responds to Pitino's suggestion that he should be next Big East commissioner

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- I texted with Jay Bilas this afternoon about Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino's suggestion that he should be the Big East's next commissioner.

Bilas' response?

"Interesting idea, and really flattering," he said. "But I'm not sure the Big East presidents are ready for a little Jeezy bumping in the Big East hallways. It would be nice to earn almost as much as the NCAA President, though."

That's classic Bilas -- complete with a Jeezy reference and poke at NCAA President Mark Emmert, whom Bilas has routinely criticized as the face of what most consider to be a largely hypocritical organization. It's just the kind of response I expected. Flippant and funny. But I'd still advise against dismissing the idea completely because Pitino carries a lot of weight in the Big East office, and the league has a history of following his suggestions.

Pitino, you might remember, spent last September pushing hard for Memphis and Temple to receive the Big East invitations that later came, and administrators at both schools believe his opinion helped their causes on some level. Whether history repeats itself here is anybody's guess. But there's no doubt Bilas would be great if given the opportunity because he's a smart man with vision who works well with others and doesn't take himself too seriously, and people with those qualities tend to do well whether they're television analysts, lawyers, conference commissioners or anything else.


Gary Parrish is a senior college basketball columnist for CBSSports.com and frequent contributor to the CBS Sports Network. The Mississippi native also hosts the highest-rated sports talk radio show -- The Gary Parrish Show -- in the history of Memphis. He lives in that area with his wife, two children and a dog.
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