Old Big East renames itself the American Athletic Conference

Old Big East renames itself the American Athletic Conference
April 3, 2013, 7:15 pm
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No longer will you have to call it the old Big East, the former Big East, the conference formerly known as the Big East, or the yet-to-be-renamed Big East.

The 12-member league announced Wednesday night that it will now be referred to as the American Athletic Conference.

The conference was forced to rename itself after reaching a financial agreement to cede the Big East name to the Catholic 7's new basketball conference, which begins play this coming fall.

The American is comprised of the schools remaining after the former Big East's breakup and of those programs who are still scheduled to jump on board. Temple, UConn, Cincinnati and USF will welcome new members Memphis, UCF, SMU and Houston this July. Tulane, East Carolina and Tulsa will join as all-sports members in 2014, while Navy joins for football in 2015.

Louisville and Rutgers will play in the American for one more season before departing for the ACC and Big Ten, respectively, in 2014.

Temple, which was kicked out of the conference in 2004, rejoined in March 2012, replacing an immediate hole left by the departure of West Virginia. Since the Owls' re-entry, 10 schools have announced their intentions to leave the conference, including Louisville, Rutgers, Notre Dame and the Catholic 7, and the league's name has obviously changed.

It's part of a wider exodus that has seen 19 leave the conference since 2003. Seven of those schools left to join the ACC, seven more left to start their own conference, and three others -- TCU, Boise State, San Diego State -- opted to exit before ever officially becoming a member.

As for what now makes up the American Conference, nine of its 12 current members entered or will enter the league directly from Conference USA.

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