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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Monday, July 01, 2013

UConn officially a member of American Athletic Conference

Today is when it all became official and UConn's run as a Big East school has come to an end. The Huskies; first day as a member of the American Athletic Conference came without too much fanfare (unless you count those posting about the Central Florida logo being left out of a graphic on the UConn official site).

My colleague David Borges, who covers the UConn men's basketball team for the Register, headed up to the conference offices in Providence today and caught up with AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco.

Here's some of what he had to say:

"It’s felt like we’ve already launched, in the sense that we’ve got the new name, the new logo. July 1 is more of an official date -- you note it on the calendar. The practical effect is that we have the four new teams come in.

"We look back at where we were in December and January. There were a lot of people who gave us no chance. They thought we would dissolve, or the whole thing would be come completely a litigious mess in every respect. They thought the Catholic 7 would devolve into that kind of situation. They thought that once we got that settled, we’d have a big fight over the money between the old and new schools and we wouldn’t have good cohesion between the newcomers and the core group. They thought UConn and Cincinnati, and maybe South Florida, wouldn’t buy into the new arrangement. And they have. UConn’s been one of our biggest supporters -- in private, too. People can’t see what goes on. (UConn president) Susan Herbst and (UConn director of athletics) Warde Manuel have been real champions of our effort."

As for the conference, they sent out an excerpt of what they sent to schools making up The American.

As we proudly mark today as the official launch date of the American Athletic Conference, I am extremely pleased to welcome the University of Central Florida, the University of Houston, the University of Memphis and Southern Methodist University as members of our reinvented Conference.  We are delighted to have these distinguished institutions join us.  We also look forward to welcoming Tulane University, East Carolina University, and the University of Tulsa in 2014 and the United States Naval Academy in 2015.

As you know, we have made enormous progress during the past months in so many key areas, and we approach the future with energy and optimism as well as enormous confidence in our prospects. We have created a strong foundation and we will be an outstanding Conference in every respect.  We will emphasize academic performance, good citizenship and sportsmanship, and we will provide our accomplished student-athletes with the highest level of competition.



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