Connecticut will be missing the boat, but Ohio State reportedly won’t when the Yorktown at Patriots Point hosts the Carrier Classic on Nov. 9.
In fact, Ohio State will be bringing both its men’s and women’s basketball teams to participate in the outdoor event on the deck of the aircraft carrier in Charleston Harbor.
Connecticut initially signed on with event promoter Morale Entertainment Foundation in March to have its men play, but the Huskies backed out about a month ago, according to the Hartford Courant.
Meanwhile, according to a report Saturday in the Columbus Dispatch, an agreement is close to being completed that will match the men’s teams from Ohio State and Marquette.
“Our legal counsel has the contract and is looking over it. I’m pretty confident it’s a go,” said Miechelle Willis, an executive associate athletic director at Ohio State who oversees both Buckeyes basketball programs.
A contract has already been signed for the Ohio State women’s team to play Notre Dame, according to Mike Whalen, founder and managing partner of Morale Entertainment.
The Carrier Classic made its debut last season when the Michigan State and North Carolina men squared off aboard the USS Carl Vinson in San Diego. The women’s game will be promoted by Morale Entertainment, which conducts overseas tours for American armed forces.
“Between 17 and 27 percent of troops are female. We want to make sure (women) get recognized” by the event, Whalen said.
Portable seating will be built on the Yorktown to accommodate about 4,000 spectators.
As a backup in case of inclement weather, Whalen hopes to enter discussions with the College of Charleston, The Citadel or North Charleston Coliseum officials.
Proceeds from the event will go to charities yet to be determined, but Whalen said the Congressional Medal of Honor Society would be a recipient since the group’s museum is on the Yorktown.
The games will be televised by ESPN networks, Willis said.