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Central Florida, Cincinnati, Houston reach agreement to leave AAC next summer

Move paves way for schools to join Big 12 in 2023
Matt Ritchey
Posted at 10:47 AM, Jun 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-10 11:55:40-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Speculation amid awkwardness at last week’s Big 12 spring meetings had Central Florida, Cincinnati and Houston joining the conference from the American Athletic Conference moving up the timetable by a year.

That speculation became fact Friday when the AAC announced that it had reached an agreement with the three teams to leave the conference effective July 1, 2023.

AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco thanked the school presidents at the three member schools and Tulane President Michael Fitts, who chairs the conference’s board of directors, “for their efforts and leadership to arrive at a sensible resolution to the three schools’ departure from the conference.”

“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,” Aresco said in a statement. “We wish them the best and look forward to having them compete in our conference in 2022-23.”

BYU, which will be the fourth team joining the Big 12 next year, previously announced plans to join the Big 12 ahead of the 2023-24 season as well.

The Big 12 will operate as a 14-member conference until Oklahoma and Texas exit to join the Southeastern Conference.

Each of the soon-to-be Big 12 newcomers tweeted in celebration after the announcement.