Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk said here Saturday afternoon that Big East commissioner John Marinatto assured him in a telephone conversation earlier in the day that the Midshipmen are still among several teams being considered for membership in the restructured league and that no official bids have been offered.
"We're still in the running, there's no question," Gladchuk said during Navy's game against Rutgers at High Point Solutions Stadium.
Gladchuk said the information he received from Marinatto disputes a report by ESPN that said five schools, including Air Force and Boise State, were extended invitations to join the league. The Boston Globe reported that Navy was unsure about joining the Big East league and could be replaced by Temple if other invitations were tendered.
"All the media speculation, there's no credibility to it," Gladchuk said.
Gladchuk said the Globe's report was also incorrect.
"We're not skeptical" about joining, Gladchuk said.
Boise State president Bob Kustra said before Saturday night's game at Colorado State that the Broncos had not been extended an invitation by the Big East.
According to the league bylaws, no invitations can be offered for a 72-hour period after the member-school presidents have been notified of the Big East's plans to restructure.
Navy, which has always been an independent, has been mentioned prominently in the Big East's plans for a few weeks. The Midshipmen would join the league for football only, with the school's other sports remaining in the Patriot League.
The timetable as to when invitations will be offered is uncertain, though Marinatto is expected to meet early this week with the presidents of the remaining Big East schools to discuss the model for expansion, which could include East and West divisions.
The Globe reported that the Big East would announce its realigned league at basketball media day in New York on Wednesday.
ESPN reported that Boise State and Air Force would likely turn down the Big East's invitations to remain in the Mountain West, which is set to merge with Conference USA to form a league of 20-24 teams. The other schools mentioned by ESPN as likely invitees were Houston, Southern Methodist and Central Florida.
The turmoil in the Big East began when Syracuse and Pittsburgh announced last month their intentions to move to the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Navy's schedules are essentially set through 2014, and its television contract with CBS Sports runs through 2018. Gladchuk said in a pre-game interview with the Navy Radio Network that the Big East is enticing to Navy if it attracts teams with "BCS horsepower", which could be interpreted as a subtle reference to the No. 5 Broncos of Boise State.
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