AAC photo

Junior guard Taniyah Thompson sheds Georgia defenders as she dribbles down the court on Dec. 3, 2020.

As of Sept. 10, the Big 12 Conference has added four teams to its league, which includes Brigham Young University and three big American Athletic Conference teams, the University of Houston and the University of Central Florida. 

In July, two Big 12 teams announced that they would begin to look for other conference options and leave the Big 12. Later that month, both the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Oklahoma joined the Southeastern Conference. It came as no surprise that the Big 12 commissioners would begin to seek out other schools. 

Brigham Young University will join the Big 12 from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I FBS Independent School. The University of Houston, the University of Cincinnati and the University of Central Florida will all leave the AAC to join the Big 12. With three AAC teams leaving, seven teams, including East Carolina University, will remain in the AAC. 

AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco is not surprised by the loss of these three teams as he recognizes that the Big 12 was seeking “marquee schools” to join the conference. 

“The irony that three of our schools are being asked to take the place of the two marquee schools which are leaving the Big 12 is not lost on us,” Aresco said. “Our conference was targeted for exceeding expectations in a system that wasn’t designed to accommodate our success.”

According to the AAC release, Aresco is not concerned about any other AAC team leaving any time soon as he states they are “unwavering in their commitment.”

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