UPDATED 10:17 a.m. ET: In a press release, the Big East announced a media teleconference at 3 p.m. ET Tuesday “to address conference membership.” In attendance will be conference commissioner John Marinatto as well as a three-person contingent from Navy – Vice Admiral Michael Miller, USN, Naval Academy Superintendent; athletic director Chet Gladchuk; head football coach Ken Niumatalolo.
It’s expected the two entities wil announce Navy’s decision to move to the Big East as a football-only member in 2015.
When last we heard of the speculation connecting Navy to a move to the Big East, the service academy was giving a “thanks, but no thanks” to shedding its football independence and joining the conference, although the door was certainly left open for a future.
A couple of months later, that future appears to be now — in a couple of years.
According to ESPN.com‘s Joe Schad, and citing an unnamed source, Navy has decided it will join the Big East as a football-only member in 2015. The Midshipmen have played every year of its existence as an independent.
Brett McMurphy of CBSSports.com subsequently confirmed the initial report, adding that an official announcement from Navy is expected Tuesday. An email sent to the service academy seeking a response to the reports has not yet garnered a response.
Over the past few months, the Big East has seen itself go through a significant amount of upheaval. TCU and West Virginia (both to the Big 12), and Pittsburgh and Syracuse (both to the ACC) have announced their intentions to leave their current conference home, although the timing for at least one of the schools is the subject of lawsuits on both sides. To replace those schools after their eventual departures, the Big East announced Dec. 7 that Boise State and San Diego State had been added as future football-only members, and Central Florida, Houston and SMU as members in all sports.
Those moves would not go into effect until the 2013 season.
Navy would give the Big East 11 members once all the attrition and addition has come to fruition. The conference has stated in the past that it’s their intention to get to 12 football-playing members and stage a conference championship game.