College Sports Is A Cutthroat Business

The AAC is going shopping.

Conference USA is probably going to lose six schools because the schools’ presidents and chancellors think that jumping to the American Athletic Conference will produce money for their education institutes. Florida Atlantic, Charlotte, North Texas, UTSA, Rice and UAB are Conference USA members but the people running those schools probably think joining the AAC will bring them more money and that is what college sports is all about. Money. The AAC Commissioner Michael Aresco saw the University of Central Florida, the University of Cincinnati and Houston University’s heads give their okays to jumping to the Big 12 Conference and that will happen in 27 months or perhaps sooner. The Big 12 took those three schools after the Southeastern Conference poached the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas from that conference. The AAC wanted four Mountain West Conference programs, Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State and San Diego State, but failed to get them.

The AAC planned to stay in business and that meant raiding other conferences to get new partners. What is next for Conference USA?  It could lose more schools to other conferences such as the Sun-Belt or the Mid-American Conference. At the end of the day, whatever happens to the Big 12, AAC, the Sun Belt Conference, C-USA, the MAC, the Mountain West Conference, they are all chasing TV money because that is what big-time college sports is all about. Collecting big dollar amounts from TV and TV will let schools presidents, chancellors and boards of trustees know whether their plan works or not. The Big East, the AAC’s predecessor, lost Pittsburgh, Syracuse, West Virginia and Louisville. But East Carolina, Tulane, and Tulsa jumped at the chance to join the AAC. The Big East became a basketball-only conference. College sports has just one loyalty and that is to dollars and cents.

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FILE – In this Aug. 4, 2015, file photo, American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco (AP Photo/Stew Milne, File)