USF, new American conference hold first meetings
The evolution of the new American Athletic Conference – with the University of South Florida and other football-playing former Big East schools – takes another step this week with the league’s first spring meetings. Finances, bowls and basketball tournament venues are among the topics expected to be discussed by athletic directors in Ponte Vedra. USF is among several schools under consideration to host the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments in March. A final decision on those arenas may not come at this meeting, however. Also not expected this week is the release of the league’s logo, although league commission Mike Aresco said that could come in the next few weeks.Attending the meetings are athletic directors from Big East holdovers USF, Connecticut, Cincinnati and Temple; and newcomers Central Florida, Memphis, SMU and Houston. The Big East’s seven Catholic, non-football schools - DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John's and Villanova – split from other members July 1. The group retained the Big East name. The remaining football-playing schools, which rebranded themselves under the name American Athletic Conference, reportedly receive about $100 million in a settlement. Louisville and Rutgers will not attend the meetings because they are leaving the conference next year. Future members East Carolina, Tulane, Tulsa and Navy are expected to attend.
Oh, Florida! We should all be thankful for the lady accused of shoplifting while dressed as a turkey