Former Big East Has New Name
When the catholic basketball schools separated themselves from the Big East, taking the Big East name with it, the new look 12 member league needed a new name. According to Brett McMurphy of espn, the league will be called the American Athletic Conference.
By 2015, the America Athletic Conference is expected to consist of Cincinnati, Connecticut, East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, Navy (football only member), SMU, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa, UCF, and South Florida. With nine of those twelve schools being current or former members of Conference USA, it's somewhat fitting that the new name will include America in it.
"We worked with our institutions, sports marketing experts, media partners, and also solicited opinions and reactions from collegiate sports fans to create a compelling list of names," commissioner Mike Aresco said in a prepared statement. "Versions that included the word 'American' led every list. American Athletic Conference represents a strong, durable and aspirational name for our reinvented Conference.
"We engaged our fans through social media and focus groups in multiple cities, and we conducted extensive quantitative research," Aresco explained. "We also received terrific input from our partners at ESPN and CBS Sports. 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. The American Athletic Conference will represent core American values of optimism, energy, growth and innovation. We have a broad geographical footprint that represents unity as well as diversity."