Navy Athletic Director Chet Gladchuk said Thursday that Big East officials contacted him Thursday morning about the Big 12’s decision to authorize negotiations with Texas Christian, which was scheduled to join the Big East next year. The move is widely seen as a precursor to TCU joining the Big 12 instead of the Big East in 2012.

On Sunday, the presidents of Big East member schools voted unanimously to pursue aggressive discussions with other institutions that have substantial interest in joining. Navy has been in talks with the Big East about joining the conference as a football-only member.

Gladchuk said last week that Navy was in no rush to make a decision about whether to join the Big East, and that the academy would consider the change from football independence only “when the Big East is on solid footing.” He reiterated those comments Thursday.

“As I said from the beginning, our position remains comfortable as an independent,” Gladchuk said. “We’ve had discussions with the Big East about possible membership. There is no timetable or sense of urgency on our part. We asked the Big East to stabilize. Obviously this is a step back for them.”

Without TCU, the Big East would be left with only six schools that play major college football. Last month, Syracuse and Pittsburgh announced that they would leave the conference to join the ACC.

“As it stands today, the issue is not ours. The issue is theirs. They’ve got to figure out how to right the ship,” Gladchuk said.