May 22, 2013
PONTE VEDRA, Fla. (The American/SMU) - In its first full meeting as the American Athletic Conference, the league made important strategic decisions and addressed many pertinent issues as its membership moves forward together in the reinvented Conference.
The Conference’s Presidents, Athletic Directors, Senior Woman Administrators, Head Football Coaches and Head Men’s and Women’s Basketball Coaches participated in the meetings.
“I am pleased and proud to be a part of a group that is dedicated, optimistic and effective,” said Commissioner Michael Aresco. “We have accomplished a great deal and are moving ahead with great confidence. We have a strong new name that has been well-received. Our soon-to-be-released new logo will support our new name. The American is going to be a prominent force in college athletics.”
Among the subjects addressed by the league’s Presidents and Athletic Directors:
- Agreed on a financial distribution plan for the member institutions
- Approved a new conference logo, which will be revealed in the near future
- Further developed a branding, marketing and public relations strategy
- Narrowed the search for men’s and women’s basketball postseason tournament venues
- Discussed plans for a digital network
- Met with television partners to discuss scheduling and promotional plans
- Discussed The American’s position in the College Football Playoff
- Agreed to pursue the creation of its own bowl game and maintain an outstanding Conference bowl lineup
The Conference Presidents chose R. Gerald Turner, President of SMU, as their new Chair. Susan Herbst, President of the University of Connecticut, will serve as Vice-Chair. Outgoing Chair Judy Genshaft, President of the University of South Florida, will remain on the Executive Committee, ensuring continuity in governance. Genshaft provided outstanding leadership in the transformation of the Conference.
“The American Athletic Conference has tremendous institutions that are committed to excellence in academics and athletics,” said Genshaft. “We are moving forward as a Conference with great resolve.”
“I am honored to help shape the future of the American Athletic Conference,” said Turner. “Everyone is excited about our extremely bright future and working together.”
"We are moving quickly on all fronts and I am so pleased with the progress,” said Herbst. “UConn is proud to be building this new league and thrilled to be part of all the excitement that comes with creating a bold new vision for student-athletes and our fans. Our exposure will be greater than ever, and we look forward to showing our championship ways to even broader audiences."
The American has television agreements with ESPN and CBS Sports, two of the most prestigious media organizations in sports. The contracts will provide unprecedented national coverage for the league. All football and men’s basketball conference games will be televised.