Brett McMurphy of CBS Sports reports that while the timing remains unclear, Navy still intends to join the Big East as a football playing member. McMurphy reports:
The Midshipmen are preparing to join the Big East as a football-only member, but likely won't do so in 2013, Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk told CBSSports.com.
Gladchuk said ultimately Navy's Superintendent, Vice Admiral Michael Miller, will make the decision on whether Navy joins the Big East. However, Gladchuk admitted "everyone in Navy's chain of command is comfortable [with the Big East] and the direction it's going."
Navy joining the conference would give the Big East 11 football playing members once Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and West Virginia leave, and SMU, Houston, UCF, Boise State, and San Diego State join. The Big East will still need to find a permanent 12th member to allow the conference to begin divisional play and host a conference championship football game. According to McMurphy's report, Navy simply has too many commitments stretching into the future to commit to joining the Big East right away.
How quickly Navy joins the Big East will depend mainly on how long it takes the Midshipmen to restructure their future schedules, bowl and television contracts. Navy has games scheduled through 2018, bowl contracts through 2017 and television contracts with CBS College Sports and CBS Sports (Army-Navy game) through 2018, Gladchuk said.
Gladchuk said Navy doesn't have any demands, but needs the support of the Big East whether it's financially or league members helping by picking up some of Navy's future opponents.
"We're breaking away from a lifelong commitment as an independent and we have a better television deal than a lot of conferences," Gladchuk said. "We can't do that without a mutual understanding with the Big East. The good news is [Big East commissioner] John [Marinatto] has been receptive of talking this through."
So when would Navy be able to join the conference? It appears the 2014 season is the earliest the Midshipmen could join. The only conceivable way that the move could be sped up is if Big East teams agree to take on some fo the games Navy has contracts to play in the future, freeing them up to accommodate a Big East schedule. Still, Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk indicated to McMurphy that there will continue to be talks and he is confident that the issues slowing up the movement can be worked out. Gladchuk also indicated that Air Force's decision to stay in the Mountain West Conference will not impact Navy's decision.
Stay tuned to Big East Coast Bias and in particular our Big East Expansion section for any additional news on potential new additions to the conference.