Navy to join Big East

For football in 2015

Navy will announce Tuesday it’s joining Big East football in 2015, a person with knowledge of the decision said Monday night.

ESPN and CBSSports.com first reported the news.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not been made.

The Big East has been courting Navy, a football independent, for months and service academy officials had made it known they liked the idea of joining.

But when the Big East added Boise State and San Diego State as football-only members and Houston, SMU and Central Florida as full members in December, the Midshipmen were not ready to get on board.

Those schools are scheduled to begin competing in the Big East in 2013.

The Big East is losing Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the Atlantic Coast Conference and West Virginia to the Big 12, but it’s unclear when.

West Virginia filed a lawsuit against the Big East so it can join the Big 12 in 2012. The Big East sued West Virginia to make the school abide by the league’s 27-month notification period, which would keep the Mountaineers in the Big East through the 2013-14 school year.

A Rhode Island judge has ordered West Virginia and the Big East to enter non-binding mediation to resolve their competing lawsuits.

Pitt, Syracuse and the ACC have said they will not challenge the Big East bylaws.

The Big East wants to end up with a 12-team football conference, split into eastern and western divisions, and hold a league championship game.

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