UPDATED 3:15 p.m. ET: As part of Navy’s decision to join the conference, the Big East will officially raise its exit fees from $5 million to $10 million, commissioner John Marinatto said on today’s teleconference. The league voted on raising the exit fees — yes, including West Virginia — on Oct. 17, but the increase would only take effect once a new member joined.
(note: Ralph Russo of the AP says he needs to clarify, but it has been confirmed that the new bylaw will take effect immediately)
Additionally, the Big East will eventually be split up into divisions. Remarkably, Navy could theoretically play in a Big East championship game before it plays Army.
If you’d like to hear the entire Big East teleconference, you can do so by clicking HERE.
Following up on the news that an announcement would be coming today from the Big East concerning conference membership, the Naval Academy and the Big East confirmed that the Midshipmen would be a football-only member of the conference beginning in 2015.
The official move comes months after Navy expressed its concern about leaving football independence for a conference that was, at the time, going through severe flux.
“After careful consideration, we believe this affiliation to be in the best interests of the Naval Academy, our athletic programs and the Brigade of Midshipmen. While our independent status has served Navy Football well to date, BIG EAST conference affiliation will help ensure our future scholar-athletes and athletic programs remain competitive at the highest levels for the foreseeable future,” Superintendent Vice Admiral Michael Miller said in a statement.
The only real new piece of information is that there will be a three-year phase-in period during which a scheduling partnership will be created between the two side, leading to a full schedule of eight conference games in 2015. During this phase-in period, Navy will continue its current TV partnership with CBS and postseason bowl affiliates, but will be included in future television, marketing, promotion, and bowl negotiations by the Big East.
Navy will also continue to compete against Army and Air Force annually.
“When people look back, they will mark this as a truly historic day for the BIG EAST Conference,” said Commissioner John Marinatto in his own statement. “America’s first national football conference is adding a program with true national appeal. Navy’s decision to make the BIG EAST its first football conference home after over 100 years of independence demonstrates the value of our new expansion model and the long-term viability of our football product. The BIG EAST is truly proud to be associated with one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the country and one of the most storied programs in college football.”
Navy will join new Big East members Boise State, San Diego State as future football-only members; Central Florida, Houston and SMU will join as full members