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SBD/May 22, 2013/Colleges
American Athletic Conference To Give Incumbent Schools 60% Of Realignment Funds
Published May 22, 2013
PARTING SHOTS: UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma said that the Big East "did not elevate UConn's athletic programs," and that it was UConn that "helped build the Big East into a formidable conference." Auriemma: "There's an opportunity here. Some other school in this league has the opportunity to do in the next 10-15 years what we've done." Auriemma said of the makeup of the AAC, "It's a group that reminds me a lot of when I first joined the Big East in 1985. Over a period of time, it became the best league in the country. Everybody tried to reach the standard we set at the time" (HARTFORD COURANT, 5/22).
LIVE, AND IN COLOR: In Orlando, Matt Murschel wrote judging from the reaction of many of the coaches in attendance at the AAC spring meetings this week, league officials "hit one out of the park when it came to the conference’s new television deal." Memphis men's basketball coach Josh Pastner said, "The TV exposure is outstanding. It’s a tremendous league." The same sentiment was "felt by football coaches as well," who will see nearly 90% of their games carried on national TV. SMU football coach June Jones said, "I can tell you from my time to get to SMU when they weren’t on TV and then you’re on TV a lot, that makes a big difference in everything. Exposure increases, alumni contributions increase to the school as does a lot of things for the university" (ORLANDOSENTINEL.com, 5/21). Cincinnati men's basketball coach Mick Cronin said that the coaches are "delighted all 90 league games will be televised by ESPN." Cronin: "The most important thing to our recruits is exposure, playing on television, playing on a national state, make the NCAA Tournament. For a school like Houston that hasn't been on ESPN since whenever Conference USA lost that, it's got to be big for them" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 5/21).
TWO BITES OUT OF THE BIG APPLE? Providence AD Bob Driscoll yesterday said that during the Big East spring meetings, groups of ADs, interim commissioner Dan Beebe and representatives of TV partner Fox Sports, the NCAA and some marketing groups "were working through many important details." Driscoll: "We don't have a conference staff, which makes this unique, but I don't think we're behind in the most critical areas. We've worked with the nuts and bolts for a while now and we're moving ahead." Driscoll said that while "nothing is scheduled yet ... the plan is to run the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden beginning with a Wednesday-night doubleheader and then a quarterfinal round on Thursday, semis Friday and the championship game Saturday night." He said he realized the 10 schools need to "market and promote the tournament better than we ever have but that's because before we never even had to sell tickets. It just always sold out." Driscoll, when asked about ACC coaches expressing a desire to play their tournament at MSG, said that he "does not see that happening" (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 5/22). However, ACC Commissioner John Swofford said that N.Y. is "definitely still in play, pending the availability of its venues." Swofford: "With our footprint now being what it is, and as significant as it is ... certainly New York is a possibility if venue availability is there." He added, "We don't have a gun to our head in terms of having to make a decision tomorrow. We're obviously committed to Greensboro the next two years. We're in the middle of an ongoing process" (NEWS-RECORD.com, 5/21).