Navy remains committed to an unsettled Big East


Navy remains committed to an unsettled Big East

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Navy is still on board for Big East football in 2015.

The Midshipmen remain committed to joining the unsettled conference for football only, starting in 2015. Navy has been playing football since 1879 without conference affiliation until it made the decision last year to join a Big East - a league that has undergone a massive facelift in 15 months.

``Right now, nothing's changed in terms of our attitude or ambition in terms of joining in `15,'' Athletic Director Chet Gladchuk said Wednesday. ``We're just going to see how it all unfolds.''

Gladchuk was in Philadelphia to promote the 113th Army-Navy game on Dec. 8 at Lincoln Financial Field. The U.S. Naval Academy agreed last year to give up more than 130 years of football independence to join a conference that is in the middle of a massive overhaul. Louisville on Wednesday became the fourth school in 15 months and seventh in the past decade to leave the Big East for the ACC. The Big East also lost Rutgers last week. The reinvented conference added Tulane and East Carolina this week.

Though both schools are bolting for different conferences, Louisville plays at Rutgers on Thursday night with the conference's bid to the Bowl Championship Series berth on the line. While Gladchuk said the caliber of schools departing the Big East is, ``not necessarily what we envisioned,'' he said the Midshipmen could no longer continue as an independent, and he believes the conference could still fill their needs in terms of scheduling and desirable TV deals.

``Navy wants to remain relevant as a program with national stature,'' he said. ``We know we've got to be affiliated with a conference. That's why the Big East right now is our direction.''

The Midshipmen (7-4) secured a bid to play a Pac-12 team in the Fight Hunger Bowl on Dec. 29 in San Francisco. The Big East will allow Navy to maintain its annual rivalries with Army, Air Force and Notre Dame, and that the Army-Navy game will still be the season finale for both teams, regardless of when a future Big East championship game is played.

Ken Niumatalolo has coached the Midshipmen in four other bowl games since 2007. He has Navy back in a bowl after a 5-7 record last season.

He's pitched the idea of playing in the Big East to recruits but remained concerned the shifting landscape among the major conferences could still come back to bite Navy.

``We're trying to get ready for our big game,'' he said. ``But that's in the back of our mind, where's our program going?''

For now, the only answer is Philadelphia. Navy plays Army with the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy on the line for the first time since 2005. The trophy is awarded to the team with the best record in games between the three service academies. Both teams have defeated Air Force. Navy has a whopping 10-game winning streak against its biggest rival in its biggest game of the season.

But the question looms, will the Big East still be the right fit for Navy in three more years?

``We're trying to improve our facilities, we're trying to build up our infrastructure, we're trying to get ready to go,'' Niumatalolo said. ``My only question is, if we don't go to the Big East, what happens to us? Is it just going to be those five big conferences and everyone else becomes I-AA football?''

The Midshipmen were more concerned Wednesday with the health of freshman quarterback Ralph Montalvo. Niumatalolo said Montalvo remained in a medically-induced coma after he was critically injured in a car accident near his home last week in Florida.

``Some days his signs are better, sometimes his signs are not as good,'' Niumatalolo said. ``He has a wonderful family that's been very supportive of him at the hospital. Hopefully, he's having a good day today.''

Navy also said there was a chance Montalvo could be brought out of the coma on Friday. He received his Army-Navy jersey the team sent him and his father told the school that would be the second thing he saw on Friday, after his mother.


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Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman loses bet, rocks Ovechkin jersey

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Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman loses bet, rocks Ovechkin jersey

Nearly two weeks have passed since the Washington Capitals defeated the Vegas Golden Knights to raise their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.

With one team being a first-year expansion project that turned out beautifully and the other a franchise that had not appeared in a Stanley Cup Final since 1998, there was obviously a lot on the line.

Those away from the ice had 'a lot' on the line, too.

Prior to the start of the series, each city's mayor agreed on a bet that would force the losing team's member to wear an opposing jersey at the conclusion of the Cup.

Well, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman followed through on her end of the bargain.

Here is proof of her wearing the jersey of a man who led what was arguably the greatest post-championship celebration in sports history.


The Capitals announced Wednesday that the team's home opener and Stanley Cup banner unveiling will be played on October 3 against the Boston Bruins.

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

The 2018 Major League All-Star Game is less than a month away. Fan votes are well underway and early frontrunners are close to locking their position in the Midsummer Classic.

Yesterday, we projected how the National League roster will play out. Today it is time to look at the American League roster projection.

For five straight seasons, the AL has had the upper hand in the MLB All-Star Game. In 2018, it does not appear that will change as the American League roster will be loaded from top to bottom.

As a reminder, here is how the process shakes out, first with the fan vote, players’ ballots, and the MLB Commissioner’s Office:

  • Fan vote: nine position players in AL (DH)/ eight in NL; plus final vote for each league
  • Player’s ballots: next 17 players in AL/ 16 players in NL; (five starting pitchers, three relievers must be chosen)
  • MLB Commissioner’s Office: five AL players (four pitchers, one position player) and seven NL players (four pitchers, three position players)

One player from each team must make the initial roster (before injury withdraws, etc.). Below is how it looks the American League roster will play out, considering the latest fan vote returns:

American League All-Star Roster Projection:

C – Wilson Ramos, Rays (Fan Vote), Gary Sánchez, Yankees (Player Ballot)
1B – José Abreu, White Sox (Fan Vote), Joey Gallo, Rangers (Player Ballot)
2B – Jose Altuve, Astros (Fan Vote), Jed Lowrie, Athletics (Player Ballot)
3B – José Ramírez, Indians (Fan Vote), Yangervis Solarte, Blue Jays (Player Ballot), Mike Moustakas, Royals (Commissioner’s Office)
SS – Manny Machado, Orioles (Fan Vote), Jean Segura, Mariners (Player Ballot),
OF – Mookie Betts, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Mike Trout, Angels (Fan Vote), Aaron Judge, Yankees (Fan Vote), Michael Brantley, Indians (Player Ballot), Eddie Rosario, Twins (Player Ballot), Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees (Player Ballot),
DH – J.D. Martinez, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Shohei Ohtani, Angels (Player Ballot)

SP – Justin Verlander, Astros (Player Ballot), Luis Severino, Yankees (Player Ballot), Corey Kluber, Indians (Player Ballot), Chris Sale, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Gerrit Cole, Astros (Player Ballot), Blake Snell, Tampa Bay (Commissioner’s Office)

RP – Edwin Díaz, Mariners (Player Ballot), Craig Kimbrel, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Aroldis Chapman, Yankees (Player Ballot), Joe Jiménez, Tigers (Commissioner’s Office), Delin Betances, Yankees (Commissioner’s Office), Chris Devenski, Astros (Commissioner’s Office)

Manager: Jeff Luhnow, Astros

Based on this projection, the New York Yankees will have the most representatives with six. The Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox will both have four.

Ensuring no snubs, there will be five players selected for the final fan vote to get one more All-Star into the game for a total of 32 for the American League. As you can see, no matter how the AL roster plays out, it will be a dominant team once again as they look for six straight All-Star wins.

Four of those five wins were inside a National League stadium and that will not change as the Washington Nationals will host this season.