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The American Athletic Conference (The American or AAC) is an American collegiate athletic conference, featuring 11 member universities – and four associate member universities – that compete in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA) Division I, with its football teams competing in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), the highest levels for athletic competition in U.S. collegiate sports. Member universities represent a range of well-regarded private and public universities of various enrollment sizes located primarily in urban metropolitan areas in the Northeastern, Midwestern, Western, and Southern regions of the United States.[1][2]

The American was considered one of the six collegiate power conferences of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) era.[note 1][3] With the advent of the College Football Playoff, The American became a part of the "Group of Five" conferences, which share one automatic spot in the New Year's Six bowl games.[note 2][4] The American, however, remains a power conference in men's basketball.[5]

The league is the product of substantial turmoil in the original Big East Conference during the 2010–14 conference realignment period. It is one of two conferences to emerge from the all-sports Big East in 2013. While the other successor, which does not sponsor football, purchased the Big East Conference name, The American inherited the old Big East's structure and is that conference's legal successor. However, both conferences claim 1979 as their founding date, and the same history up to 2013.[6][7] The American is headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, and led by Commissioner Michael Aresco.[2][8]

History

The original Big East

The original Big East Conference was founded in 1979 as a basketball conference and included the colleges of Providence, St. John's, Georgetown, and Syracuse, which in turn invited Connecticut (UConn), Holy Cross, Rutgers, and Boston College to be members.[9][10] UConn and Boston College would accept the invitation, while Holy Cross soon thereafter declined the invitation, and Rutgers eventually declined and remained in the Atlantic 10 Conference (then known as the Eastern 8 Conference). Seton Hall was then invited as a replacement, and the conference started play with seven members.[10]

Villanova and Pittsburgh joined shortly thereafter under the leadership of the Big East's first commissioner, Dave Gavitt.[11][12][13]

The conference remained largely unchanged until 1991, when it began to sponsor football, adding Miami as a full member, and Rutgers, Temple, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia as football-only members.[14] Rutgers and West Virginia upgraded to full Big East membership in 1995, while Virginia Tech did the same in 2000. Temple football was kicked out after the 2004 season, but rejoined in 2012 and intended to become a full Big East member in 2013.

The unusual structure of the Big East, with the "football" and "non-football" schools, led to instability in the conference.[15] The waves of defection and replacement brought about by the conference realignments of 2005 and 2010–13 revealed tension between the football-sponsoring and non-football schools that eventually led to the split of the conference in 2013.[16]

Realignment and reorganization

Template:Location map+ Template:Further The conference was reorganized following the tumultuous period of realignment that hobbled the Big East between 2010 and 2013. The Big East was one of the most severely impacted conferences during the most recent conference realignment period. In all, 14 member schools announced their departure for other conferences, and 15 other schools announced plans to join the conference (eight as all-sports members, and four for football only). Three of the latter group later backed out of their plans to join (one for all sports, and the other two for football only).

On December 15, 2012, the Big East's seven remaining non-FBS schools, all Catholic institutions – DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall, and Villanova – announced that they voted unanimously to leave the Big East Conference, effective June 30, 2015.[17][18] The "Catholic 7", by leaving, were looking for a more lucrative television deal than the one they would receive by remaining with the football schools.[19] In March 2013, representatives of the Catholic 7 announced they would leave the conference effective June 30, 2013, retaining the Big East name, $10 million, and the right to hold the conference's basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden.[3][20]

Following the announcement of the departure of the Catholic 7 universities, the remaining ten football-playing members started the process of selecting a new name for the conference and choosing a new site to hold its basketball tournament.[21][22] Various names were considered, with the "America 12" conference reportedly one of the finalists until rejected by college presidents sensitive of adding a number to the end of the conference name.[23] On April 3, 2013, the conference announced that it had chosen a new name: The American Athletic Conference.[1] The league also revealed that it prefers the nickname "The American"; it was thought "AAC" would cause too much confusion with the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC).[24]

Louisville and Rutgers spent one season in the renamed conference. On July 1, 2014, Louisville joined the ACC[25] and Rutgers joined the Big Ten Conference.[26] On that same day, East Carolina, Tulane, and Tulsa joined The American for all sports, while Sacramento State and San Diego State joined as associate members for women's rowing.[27][28] Navy joined as an associate member in football on July 1, 2015.[27]

Commissioners

Name Term
Michael Aresco 2013–present[8]

Membership timeline

Navy MidshipmenTulsa Golden HurricaneTulane Green WaveEast Carolina PiratesUCF KnightsSMU MustangsMemphis TigersHouston CougarsSouth Florida BullsCincinnati BearcatsLouisville CardinalsTemple OwlsRutgers Scarlet KnightsConnecticut Huskies
Template:Timeline Legend Template:Timeline Legend

Member universities

Template:Details3 The conference currently has eleven full member institutions – and four associate members – in eleven states, including California, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas.

Current members

Institution Location
(Population)
Founded Joined Type Enrollment Nickname Colors
University of Central Florida Orlando, Florida
(262,372)
1963 2013 Public (SUSF) 60,810 Knights Black & Gold[29]
         
University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, Ohio
(298,165)
1819 2005 Public (USO) 43,691 Bearcats Red & Black[30]
         
University of Connecticut Storrs, Connecticut
(15,344)
1881 1979[note 3] Public 31,119 Huskies Navy Blue and White[31]
         
East Carolina University Greenville, North Carolina
(90,223)
1907 2014 Public (UNC) 27,511 Pirates Purple & Gold[32]
         
University of Houston Houston, Texas
(2,239,558)
1927 2013 Public (UHS) 40,747 Cougars Red & White[33]
         
University of Memphis Memphis, Tennessee
(656,861)
1912 2013 Public (TBR) 21,480 Tigers Blue & Gray[34]
         
University of South Florida Tampa, Florida
(358,699)
1956 2005 Public (SUSF) 47,646 Bulls Green & Gold[35]
         
Southern Methodist University Dallas, Texas (University Park)
(1,197,816 (23,068))
1911 2013 Private (Methodist) 10,929 Mustangs Red & Blue[36]
         
Temple University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
(1,560,297)
1884 1991, 2012[note 4] Public (CSHE) 37,619 Owls Cherry & White[37]
         
Tulane University New Orleans, Louisiana
(384,320)
1834 2014 Private 13,531 Green Wave Olive Green & Sky Blue[38]
         
University of Tulsa Tulsa, Oklahoma
(399,682)
1894 2014 Private (Presbyterian) 4,352 Golden Hurricane Royal Blue and Old Gold[39]
         

Associate members

Institution Location
(Population)
Founded Joined Type Enrollment Nickname Colors Sport Primary
Conference
California State University, Sacramento Sacramento, California
(466,488)
1947 2014 Public (CSU) 28,811 Hornets           Rowing Big Sky
San Diego State University San Diego, California
(1,345,895)
1897 2014 Public (CSU) 29,392 Aztecs           Rowing Mountain West
Villanova University Villanova, Pennsylvania
(31,531)
1842 1980[note 5] Private (Catholic) 10,482 Wildcats           Rowing Big East
United States Naval Academy Annapolis, Maryland
(38,394)
1845 2015 Federal 4,576 Midshipmen           Football Patriot League

Former members

Two members have departed from the conference.

Institution Location
(Population)
Founded Joined Left Type Enrollment Nickname Colors Current
Conference
Rutgers University New Brunswick, New Jersey
(55,181)
1766 1991[note 6] 2014 Public (RU) 38,912 Scarlet Knights      Big Ten
University of Louisville Louisville, Kentucky
(756,832)
1798 2005 2014 Public 22,529 Cardinals           ACC

Sports

The American sponsors championship competition in ten men's and eleven women's NCAA sanctioned sports. Sacramento State, San Diego State University, and Villanova University are associate members for women's rowing.[40] Conference members who sponsor women's lacrosse and field hockey compete as associate members of the Big East.[41] |- Under NCAA rules reflecting the large number of male scholarship participants in football and attempting to address gender equity concerns (see also Title IX), each member institution is required to provide more women's varsity sports than men's.[note 7] |-

Sport Men's Women's
Baseball
8
Basketball
11
11
Cross Country
9
11
Football
12
Golf
10
9
Rowing
8
Soccer
8
10
Softball
7
Swimming & Diving
4
6
Tennis
9
11
Track and Field (Indoor)
9
11
Track and Field (Outdoor)
9
11
Volleyball
11

Men's sponsored sports by school

School Baseball Basketball Cross
Country
Football Golf Soccer Swimming
& Diving
Tennis Track & Field
(Indoor)
Track & Field
(Outdoor)
Total
Cincinnati Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:N Template:Y Template:Y 9
Connecticut Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y 10
East Carolina Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:N Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y 9
Houston Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:Y Template:Y 7
Memphis Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:N Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y 9
South Florida Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:N Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y 9
SMU Template:N Template:Y Template:N Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:N Template:N 6
Temple Template:N Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:N Template:Y Template:N Template:N 6
Tulane Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y 7
Tulsa Template:N Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:N Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y 8
UCF Template:Y Template:Y Template:N Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:N Template:Y Template:N Template:N 6
Associate Member
Navy[note 8] Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:Y Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N 1
Totals 8 12 9 12 10 8 4 9 8 8 85

Men's varsity sports not sponsored by The American which are played by conference schools:

School Ice hockey Rifle[note 9] Rowing[note 10]
Connecticut HEA Template:N Template:N
Memphis Template:N GARC Template:N
Temple Template:N Template:N Independent

Women's sponsored sports by school

School Basketball Cross
Country
Golf Rowing Soccer Softball Swimming
& Diving
Tennis Track & Field
(Indoor)
Track & Field
(Outdoor)
Volleyball Total
Cincinnati Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:N Template:Y Template:N Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y 9
Connecticut Template:Y Template:Y Template:N Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y 10
East Carolina Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:N Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y 10
Houston Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:N Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y 10
Memphis Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:N Template:Y Template:Y Template:N Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y 9
South Florida Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:N Template:Y Template:Y Template:N Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y 9
SMU Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:N Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y 10
Temple Template:Y Template:Y Template:N Template:Y Template:Y Template:N Template:N Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y 8
Tulane Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y 8
Tulsa Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:N Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y 10
UCF Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:N Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y Template:Y 10
Associate Members
Sacramento State Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:Y Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N 1
San Diego State Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:Y Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N 1
Villanova Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:Y Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N 1
Totals 11 11 9 8 10 7 6 11 11 11 11 106

Women's varsity sports not sponsored by The American which are played by conference schools:

School Bowling Fencing Field Hockey Equestrian Gymnastics Ice hockey Lacrosse Rifle[note 9] Sailing Sand Volleyball
Cincinnati Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N Big East Template:N Template:N Template:N
Connecticut Template:N Template:N Big East Template:N Template:N Hockey East Big East Template:N Template:N Template:N
Memphis Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N GARC Template:N Template:N
South Florida Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N SAISA Template:N
SMU Template:N Template:N Template:N Independent Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N
Temple Template:N NIWFA Big East Template:N Independent Template:N Big East Template:N Template:N Template:N
Tulane Southland Bowling League Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N Template:N Independent
  • Women's Bowling - The Southland Conference provides administrative support for the Southland Bowling League, but the SBL operates independently from regular conference operations.[42] The women's bowling league was established in 2015 and includes Southland Conference members Sam Houston State and Stephen F. Austin, plus Arkansas State, Louisiana Tech, Monmouth, Tulane, Valparaiso and Vanderbilt.

National team championships

Thru July 2, 2014[43]

School Total Men Women Nickname
University of Connecticut 19 6 13 Huskies
University of Houston 17 17 0 Cougars
U.S. Naval Academy 5 5 0 Midshipmen
Southern Methodist University 4 4 0 Mustangs
Temple University 3 1 2 Owls
University of Cincinnati 2 2 0 Bearcats
Tulane University 1 1 0 Green Wave
University of Tulsa 1 0 1 Golden Hurricane
University of South Florida 0 0 0 Bulls
University of Central Florida 0 0 0 Knights
East Carolina University 0 0 0 Pirates
University of Memphis 0 0 0 Tigers

Men's basketball

In June 2013, it was announced that the inaugural men's basketball tournament will take place at FedExForum in Memphis.[44] FedExForum had previously hosted eight Conference USA basketball tournaments.

Even though the Big East Conference was meant to be a basketball-oriented conference, the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship (the first after the conferences split) was won by UConn, a member of the American.

Women's basketball

In June 2013, it was announced that the inaugural women's basketball tournament would take place at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut.[45] Women's basketball teams have played a total of eighteen times in the NCAA Women's Division I Basketball Championship (since 1982), with UConn winning 10 national championships under head coach Geno Auriemma since 1995. Women's national championship tournaments prior to 1982 were run by the AIAW.

Facilities

Institution Football stadium Capacity Basketball arena Capacity Baseball stadium Capacity
All-sports Members
Cincinnati Nippert Stadium 40,000 Fifth Third Arena 13,176 Marge Schott Stadium 3,085
Connecticut Rentschler Field 42,704 Harry A. Gampel Pavilion
XL Center
10,167
16,294
J. O. Christian Field 2,000
East Carolina Dowdy–Ficklen Stadium 50,000 Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum 8,000 Clark-LeClair Stadium 5,000
Houston TDECU Stadium 40,000 Hofheinz Pavilion 8,479 Cougar Field 5,000
Memphis Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium 59,308 FedExForum (men)
Elma Roane Fieldhouse (women)
18,119
2,565
FedExPark 2,000
South Florida Raymond James Stadium 65,908 USF Sun Dome 10,411 USF Baseball Stadium 3,211
SMU Gerald J. Ford Stadium 32,000 Moody Coliseum 7,000 Non-baseball school
Temple Lincoln Financial Field 68,532 Liacouras Center 10,206 Skip Wilson Field 1,000
Tulane Yulman Stadium 30,000 Smoothie King Center (men)
Devlin Fieldhouse (men/women)
17,003
4,100
Turchin Stadium 5,000
Tulsa H. A. Chapman Stadium 30,000 Reynolds Center 8,355 Non-baseball school
UCF Bright House Networks Stadium 45,323 CFE Arena 9,465 Jay Bergman Field 3,600

Academics

One of the current member schools, Tulane University, is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), an organization of 62 leading research universities in the United States and Canada.[46] Six members are doctorate-granting universities with "very high research activity," the highest classification given by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.[47] Member schools are also highly ranked nationally and globally by various groups, including U.S. News & World Report, Washington Monthly, and Times Higher Education.

University Location Affiliation Carnegie[47] Endowment[48] USN Nat.[49] WM Nat.[50] URAP U.S.[51]
University of Central Florida Orlando, Florida Public (SUSF) Research (VH) $135,500,000 173 211 114
University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, Ohio Public (USO) Research (VH) $1,183,922,000 129 191 57
University of Connecticut Storrs, Connecticut Public Research (VH) $436,900,000 58 81 94
East Carolina University Greenville, North Carolina Public (UNC) Doctoral $164,065,000 RNP 171 69
University of Houston Houston, Texas Public (UHS) Research (VH) $789,700,000 189 68 104
University of Memphis Memphis, Tennessee Public (TBR) Research (H) $200,750,000 RNP 37 188
University of South Florida Tampa, Florida Public (SUSF) Research (VH) $447,000,000 161 78 72
Southern Methodist University University Park, Texas Private (Methodist) Research (H) $1,466,258,000 58 260 164
Temple University Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Public (CSHE) Research (H) $374,758,000 121 195 108
Tulane University New Orleans, Louisiana Private Research (VH) $1,183,924,000 54 100 112
University of Tulsa Tulsa, Oklahoma Private (Presbyterian) Doctoral $1,015,474,000 88 164 297

Internet

  • American Digital Network broadcasts women's basketball games, most conference events otherwise not televised, baseball championship game, championship games for select olympic sports

See also

Template:Commons

Notes

  1. The American inherited the Big East's automatic berth to a BCS game for the 2013 season.
  2. The other conferences in the "Group of Five" are Conference USA (C-USA), the Mid-American Conference (MAC), the Mountain West Conference, and the Sun Belt Conference.
  3. Connecticut's football program did not join the conference until 2004.
  4. Temple was not a Big East football member between the 2005 and 2011 seasons, most of this time being spent in the Mid-American Conference. Temple joined as a football only member in 2012, and as an all-sports member in 2013.
  5. Villanova joined the conference in 1980 but left as part of the 2013 conference breakup. As women's rowing is not a Big East sport, Villanova will participate in the American for the sport.
  6. Rutgers joined the conference in 1991 as a football only member, and joined in all-sports in 1995.
  7. Under NCAA Bylaw 20.9.4, all Division I schools are required to sponsor a minimum of seven men's and seven women's sports, or six men's and eight women's sports. Bylaw 20.9.7.1 imposes the latter requirement on FBS schools. FCS schools, under Bylaw 20.9.8.1, may use either requirement. Note that this does not explicitly require that a school sponsor two more women's sports than men's sports. See "2012–13 NCAA Division I Manual". NCAA. http://ncaapublications.com/productdownloads/D113.pdf. Retrieved 2013-03-07. 
  8. Navy will continue to field its other sports in the NCAA Division I Patriot League.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Rifle is technically a men's sport, but men's, women's, and coed teams all compete against each other.
  10. The only category of rowing that the NCAA governs is women's heavyweight rowing. All men's rowing is governed by the Intercollegiate Rowing Association.

References

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  2. 2.0 2.1 Katz, Andy (2013-03-15). "What's next for the 'old Big East'". ESPN. http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/blog/_/name/katz_andy/id/9057093/the-steps-new-big-east-conference-college-basketball. Retrieved 2013-03-17. 
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  25. http://www.theacc.com/genrel/112812aaa.html
  26. Rutgers Scarlet Knights accept invitation to join Big Ten as Board of Governors gives go-ahead to athletic director Tim Pernetti. NY Daily News (2012-11-19). Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
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  28. UCF Graphic Standards & Brand Book. Brand.ucf.edu. Retrieved on 2014-09-11.
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  31. ECU Graphics and Licensing Standards. ecu.edu. Retrieved on 2014-09-11.
  32. UH Graphic Standards. uhcougars.com. Retrieved on 2015-06-15.
  33. memphis.edu. Retrieved on 2015-06-15.
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  35. SMU Color Palette. smu.edu. Retrieved on 2015-06-15.
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External links

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[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

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