The American Athletic Conference has reached an exit agreement with Cincinnati, Houston and UCF as those three schools look to join the Big 12 next year.
In the official announcement, the AAC said that the three schools will be terminated from the conference starting on July 1, 2023. This means that the upcoming football season will be those three schools’ last in the AAC before they join the Big 12 for the 2023 season.
“I would like to thank UCF President Alexander Cartwright, Cincinnati President Neville Pinto and Houston President Renu Khator—as well as Tulane President Michael Fitts, who is chair of our Board of Directors—for their efforts and leadership to arrive at a sensible resolution to the three schools’ departure from the conference,” American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco said. “All three institutions enjoyed tremendous success under the American Athletic Conference banner, and all three were instrumental in taking the conference to great heights, both athletically and academically. We wish them the best and look forward to having them compete in our conference in 2022–23.”
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BYU already signed up to join the Big 12 for the 2023 season as well.
The moves come in anticipation of Oklahoma and Texas’s departures for the SEC, which will happen no later than 2025.
Cincinnati, Houston and UCF will each pay $15 million in exit fees, per Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde.
The next AAC move will be adding six new schools from Conference USA in the coming days, per The Athletic. The schools were waiting for the three departures before making an agreement. Those schools include Charlotte, FAU, North Texas, Rice, UAB and UTSA.
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