Reports: 6 C-USA schools apply to join AAC
Six Conference USA teams are bidding to join the American Athletic Conference, according to multiple media reports.
Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Rice, UAB and UTSA filed applications to the AAC, ESPN reported Tuesday. News of the six schools’ interest in changing conference was initially reported Monday by Yahoo Sports.
The prospective moves continue the shifting landscape of college sports conferences. The latest round of moves began when Oklahoma and Texas announced their intention to leave the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference.
The Big 12 subsequently agreed to add Cincinnati, Houston and UCF (all from the AAC) as well as BYU (a football independent but a member of the West Coast Conference in most other sports).
The AAC currently features 11 football schools, but the departure of the three universities to the Big 12 plus the potential addition of six Conference USA schools would bring the membership to 14. The AAC has Navy as a football-only program, while Wichita State is an AAC member for most sports but does not field a football team.
According to ESPN, the six potential new AAC programs would join the conference no sooner than the 2023-24 season. In addition, if the AAC doesn’t agree to a waiver of its requirement for 27 months’ notice for exiting programs, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF would remain in the conference through the 2023-24 season.
Conference USA rules call for a departure fee of around $3 million per school, according to Yahoo Sports.
–Field Level Media