Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mike Aresco on American Athletic Conference: "It's a Great Group I'm Dealing With. It Really Is"

Mike Aresco held a conference call today to talk about the American Athletic Conference -- which, of course, unveiled its new logo this morning.

Among the highlights of what Aresco had to say:

--- Men's and women's basketball championship tourney sites should be announced in a week or two -- "or sooner". Wherever the men's tourney is held, it will run from Wednesday to Saturday, with the title game on the Saturday before Selection Sunday, as in years past. The men's tourney will be televised by ESPN.

--- The league plans on having a football championship game after Navy joins in 2015, and is "pretty far along with our own bowl," per the commish.

--- The league has an automatic NCAA tourney bid that didn't have to be obtained because, essentially, it never really lost it. In the eyes of the NCAA, the American is really just the Big East with a new name.

--- After Navy joins, Aresco doesn't envision any new members joining. He also doesn't anticipate any more departures anytime soon. "There does appear to be a period of stability now," he said.

--- In all, Aresco feels great about the new league -- sentiments echoed by Susan Herbst earlier in the week.

“It’s a great group I’m dealing with, it really is. There was tension in the old structure … there was always some difficulty because you had some schools that only played basketball. In our league now, everyone in our league plays basketball and football and Olympic sports, except Navy, which will only play football. But we’ll treat them as a full member, in terms of voting and everything else.”

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