Monday, May 20, 2013
Previewing spring meetings
By Matt Fortuna
The former Big East/soon-to-be American Athletic Conference will hold its annual spring meetings today through Wednesday in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. There is no shortage of items on the agenda for a conference with a new look and a new name. Here are a few topics likely to be addressed this week:
- Finances: Who deserves what, when? The conference stands to make more than $100 million in exit fees, entrance fees and other revenues. Do the three longest-tenured members -- Cincinnati, UConn and USF -- deserve a bigger share of the pie since they have taken the biggest hit recently? What about Temple, stuck in between the new guard and the old guard? New and future members may feel they are entering a different league from the one they initially agreed to join, too.
- NCAA legislation: Decisions are sometimes made on whether the conference wants to sponsor any legislation for the next NCAA cycle. The AAC will likely gather stances from its coaches and athletic directors on certain issues, several of which have been the source of controversy this offseason. (See: recruiting deregulation)
- Bowls: The bowl cycle is up after this season. The conference's spots in the Russell Athletic Bowl, Belk Bowl and Pinstripe Bowl are seemingly in serious jeopardy. How does a new group of teams potentially affect a new postseason lineup?
- In non-football news, potential venues for the men's and women's basketball tournaments will be discussed, though whether a conclusion is reached remains to be seen. The new Big East took Madison Square Garden with it when it broke off from the rest of the conference in March. The XL Center in Hartford, Conn., has hosted the last 10 women's hoops tournaments but is facing competition from elsewhere.
Louisville and Rutgers will not attend the meetings. According to conference bylaws, once a school announces that it is leaving the conference, it cannot attend formal conference meetings. Athletic directors from future members East Carolina, Tulane, Tulsa and Navy are all expected to attend.
A new logo for the conference is not expected to be revealed for a few more weeks.