Big East Becomes American Athletic Conference at End of Season

The Big East conference will become the American Athletic Conference at the end of the 2012-13 sports season, Commissioner Mike Aresco said.

“Our name is a nod to tradition, but at the same time makes clear our determination to be a conference with national impact and appeal,” Aresco said in a statement.

The conference’s board yesterday gave unanimous approval to the new name.

The AAC will include Central Florida, Cincinnati, Connecticut, East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, Southern Methodist, South Florida, Temple, Tulane and Tulsa.

The U.S. Naval Academy will become a football-only member in 2015. With 12 football schools in the fold by 2015, it will play a football championship game.

The Big East turned over its moniker to the so-called Catholic 7, a group of schools whose top sports program is men’s basketball. Their new league, which has expanded to 10 members, begins July 1.

The new Big East members are Butler, Creighton, Xavier, Georgetown, St. John’s, Villanova, Seton Hall, Providence, Marquette and DePaul.

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