- Programmes must give 27 months notice to AAC to leave without settlement
- Multiple conferences undertaking member shakeup as Oklahoma and Texas join SEC
The University of Cincinnati, University of Houston and University of Central Florida (UCF) are close to agreeing settlement fess of between US$17 million and US$20 million to leave the American Athletic Conference (AAC) for the Big 12, according to the Action Network.
The Big 12 voted to bring in three new National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) programmes last year after co-founders Oklahoma and Texas announced they would be joining the Southeastern Conference (SEC) by 2025.
Brigham Young University (BYU) will also be joining the Big 12 next season as an independent school.
The new Big 12 arrivals will join in July 2023, with the domino effect rippling through to six Conference USA colleges joining the AAC. These are the University of Charlotte, Florida Atlantic University (FAU), North Texas, Rice, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and University of San Antonio (UTSA).
Any institutions leaving the AAC are required to pay an exit fee of US$10 million and provide 27 months’ notice, meaning that without the settlement colleges will not be able to leave the conference before 1st July 2024.
AAC commissioner Mike Aresco reportedly wanted a payment of US$35 million from each school to leave the conference early as they provided only 12 months’ notice, but this stance has since altered.
In terms of precedent, the University of Connecticut left the AAC in 2020 to rejoin the Big East having given just 12 months’ notice and paid only US$17 million.
Although the 14-month deadline expired on 1st May, the three new Big 12 colleges have been granted a one month extension by the AAC to give notice of their intent to leave the conference.
Meanwhile, collegiate programmes Liberty, Jacksonville State and Sam Houston State will join the Conference USA in 2023.
Colleges joining the AAC reportedly must forego two years of revenue to the conference, which could be between US$1.5 million and US$3 million per programme.