CBS Sports Network Partners With Naval Academy For "Veterans Classic" Hoops Event
CBS Sports Network yesterday announced that it has partnered with the Naval Academy to create the “Veterans Classic at the Naval Academy,” which will be "held annually through 2017 and bring some of the nation’s top" men's basketball programs to the academy, according to Bill Wagner of the Annapolis CAPITAL. The inaugural event takes place Nov. 14 with Michigan State-Navy at 9:00pm ET, while Tennessee and VCU, "both of which made the NCAA Tournament last season, will meet in the opener at 6:30." Navy will "host and participate in every Veterans Classic with the other three teams changing from year-to-year." Navy coach Ed DeChellis said that the goal is to "hold the event on Veterans Day if the calendar allows." Wagner notes DeChellis "sold the idea" to AD Chet Gladchuk, who "in turn presented it to CBS." Gladchuk said, "CBS was very enthusiastic about the event and that was critical. Without the support of CBS, we would not have been able to pull this off." He added, "I doubt that Michigan State, Tennessee and VCU would be involved with this without the endorsement of CBS." Plans call for MSU, UT and VCU to "arrive in Annapolis a day beforehand to tour the Naval Academy, observe the noon meal formation and eat lunch alongside the Brigade of Midshipmen in King Hall" (Annapolis CAPITAL, 6/10). CBSSPORTS.com's Matt Norlander wrote if all "goes well, this could be a longstanding college basketball tradition: two games held around Veterans Day to honor American military service." In that vein, it "replaces the fleeting concept of holding games on aircraft carriers." In fact, it was the "aircraft carrier games that sparked Navy's idea to host this event" (CBSSPORTS.com, 6/9).