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Rumble catchup: St. John's introduces new logo, Raftery joins Fox Sports 1

Bill Raftery (left) will continue to call Big East games as he leaves ESPN for Fox Sports 1.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

This is just one of those years when a lot of things change. Every time we look up, something else that we have grown accustomed to has undergone a complete overhaul.

On Saturday, the new Big East Conference will officially begin its operations. It waited until nearly the last possible moment to hire its new commissioner - Val Ackerman, formerly of the WNBA.

But not only is the world around St. John's evolving, but so is itself. The university has announced a massive rebranding initiative, which until Thursday had only included reports of an elimination of the ten year-old "STJ" abbreviation and a return of the traditional (and yearned) "SJU" tag.

Yesterday, the university released its new school logo which will immediately replace the existing representative graphic. As reported, St. John's has stripped black from its color scheme and replaced it with blue.

"This is an exciting time to introduce a distinctive new look for St. John's," mentioned President Rev. Donald J. Harrington, who will step down from his position on July 31.

The efforts to rebrand the university stem from numerous surveys accumulated over time, which have gauged the opinions of many regarding the school's academic positioning among its competitors in both the New York area and across the country.

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Martha Hirst added: "The redesigned brand conveys the energy of a new era in our University history."

There have been rumors that the rebranding will spread to St. John's athletics, but a timetable is not certain. The process could result in a replacement name for Red Storm, a revamped logo, and perhaps a new mascot. The school has decided to hold off on this portion of the rebranding project for at least a year as St. John's athletics transitions into the new Big East.

And speaking of that new Big East Conference, its future television broadcasts, which will begin this fall on the soon-to-be unveiled Fox Sports 1 Network, just got a whole lot...well, cooler. The league has announced that longtime ESPN and CBS college basketball color analyst Bill Raftery will join the network for its first season.

Raftery and the Big East have been virtually synonymous since the league was launched in 1979, when he was the head coach at Seton Hall (one of the league's original members) and was named Coach of the Year by the New Jersey Sports Writers Association.

Yet Raftery, famous for his unbounded television enthusiasm, has made a name for himself in broadcasting providing color analysis for the NCAA Tournament on CBS and the Big East regular season and conference tournament on ESPN.

"I was fortunate to work at ESPN since its inception, and I'll forever be grateful to all the talented, professional people who supported me along the way," Raftery said. "Today, though, we turn the page. I've been associated with the Big East Conference since it began, and I feel the same excitement and anticipation now as I did way back then as the conference is reborn with Fox Sports."

His coined phrases like "Onions!," "Send it in, big fella!," and "A little kiss!" have become part of the fabric of college basketball over the last 30 years. As the Big East moves to Fox Sports 1, Raftery will help carry on the league's storied legacy alongside established (and even more exciting) Gus Johnson.

How will the "Law of Gus" and "onions" find space for each other? We don't quite know, but we can't wait to find out.