November 28th, 2012 (AP)
In a stunning move, the Gilman School, a private all-male college preparatory school serving 1,034 students in grades K-12, located in Baltimore, Maryland, will be announced as the newest full member of the Big East Conference, joining the league in all sports for the 2014-2015 school year, at a joint news conference at the schools' Roland Park campus Wednesday the Wednesday afternoon.
This press conference, jointly hosted by Gilman School headmaster John Schmick, Gilman School head football coach Biff Poggi, Gilman School alumnus and esteemed message board poster Greyhound Alum, and Big East Conference commissioner Mike Aresco will serve as a momentous occasion for college athletics, marking the first time that a collegiate athletic conference will raid a high school conference for members.
"Gilman School gives us the vital Baltimore media market and allows us to maintain our foothold in that area," said Commissioner Aresco "once we received an email from Greyhound Alum yesterday, telling us that it was a really good idea and providing us with a link to Gilman's Wikipedia page, we had to make a move." The Big East has lost multiple members over the last several years and needed to add another full member following Louisville's departure on Wednesday.
"We will miss our conference rivals, especially our 97-year old rivalry with the McDonogh School." said Biff Poggi, referring to the rivalry that is the 2nd oldest scholastic rivalry in Maryland. "However, times change and traditions must be broken." When asked how he would deal with the reduction to 85 football scholarships the move to the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision required, Biff responded "if you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin'."
Gilman School leaves the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA), where it had been a charter member from the leagues inception in 1996, as well as a member of the league's predecessor organization, the Maryland Scholastic Association since 1914. In a form statement issued this morning, MIAA commissioner Lee Dove said "I wish Gilman School all the best, although I feel this was a rash move based on potential TV money, no one can seriously think that playing Tulane and Temple is a tougher schedule than playing Calvert Hall and McDonogh. We are exploring all our options for expansion"
Inspired by the Big East's move, the Sun Belt Conference was rumored to be in negotiations with the Maryland Academy of Tech and Health Science (MATHS). A statement from the Sun Belt simply said "hey, they're better than Georgia State."
At press time, the MIAA was rumored to be considering tendering an offer of membership to New Mexico State and Idaho, who will be without a conference home when the Western Athletic Conference dissolves on July 1st, 2013.
More on this story as it develops.