AAC commissioner Mike Aresco upbeat about strength, future of young league

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AAC commissioner Mike Aresco upbeat about strength, future of young league

>>OS: You’ve talked about in the past how crucial it is to get value for the conference. You see a case like at UConn where the school’s athletic department is nearly $40 million in the red and could move toward eliminating some sports in order to make up the difference. Is that a concern for the league if you can’t get the value in the next deal?

“It’s a huge concern, and that’s why I hope we do and I think we will. We’ll help our schools and as [UConn athletics director] David Benedict said, ‘Put a dent in it.’ Look, certain schools have had to drop sports. UConn wouldn’t be the first school that’s done it. Temple had to do it and schools in other conferences have had to do it.

“… I do think though we will improve and we will have other sources of revenue that I think will go up in the future. I think we're about to become a really, really good basketball conference — that’s pretty evident — and that means [NCAA] unit money is going to flow into the conference. It hasn't been the last five years at the level we thought it would. We're still generating a fair amount of money from the College Football Playoff and we’ll generate more down the road. Our goal will be to have a contract bowl eventually. I think we’re moving in that direction. I think people have to be patient. I think UConn will make adjustments. I think UConn football, when it comes back, they'll draw more people and they'll be able to generate more in the way of ticket sales. These things take time to remedy. We all know we've been laboring under a TV contract that's been highly undervalued because of where we were six years ago. But I'm optimistic.”<<
 
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He's the face of the Conference. What else CAN he say? This conference has been held hostage by ESPN since it's inception, getting pennies on the dollar for prime time programming. Until there is a competitive counter-bid by another entity (unlike last go-around when NBC low-balled its bid), things won't change. It's up to Aresco to see that negotiation come to fruition. That's why he was hired in the first place.
 
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What is really amazing when you think of colleges cutting sports is to look at the sports programs for some of the most financially sound institutions.

Alabama - 9 men's teams and 11 women's teams
Auburn - 9 men's 11 women's

UConn - 10 men's 12 women's (Men - Uconn has hockey and men's soccer) (Women - Uconn has Field Hockey and Lacrosse but no women's golf)

B1G Schools tens to have more teams

Michigan 13 men's and 14 women's
Nebraska - 9 men's and 13 womens (beach volleyball and rifle included for women)

There may be a giant uproar if UConn cuts sports, but when SEC schools bring in $50M from their contracts and do not support more sports than UConn there is justification for some cost savings.
 
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Talk about costs. Here in NOLA was looking at schedule of sporting events at Tulane and saw UConn women's volleyball team was visiting. Not just that it was women's sport, but getting the whole team to New Orleans, must cost something (and assume travel to other AAC cities). Seems like could play a local schedule and save a lot of travel time (probably get same level of competition locally) and be less disruptive to class attendance. Believe certain sports at UConn are like that (hockey, track?), not sure if AAC requires you to play other teams in league for certain sports.
 
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Talk about costs. Here in NOLA was looking at schedule of sporting events at Tulane and saw UConn women's volleyball team was visiting. Not just that it was women's sport, but getting the whole team to New Orleans, must cost something (and assume travel to other AAC cities). Seems like could play a local schedule and save a lot of travel time (probably get same level of competition locally) and be less disruptive to class attendance. Believe certain sports at UConn are like that (hockey, track?), not sure if AAC requires you to play other teams in league for certain sports.
I am a proponent of being all in on the effort to get into a P5 until the next round of realignment is settled. If we are still on the outside looking in, I would want to look seriously at finding like-minded, more nearby institutions and join/form a more regional G5 league. I think that league should include football. But this is my Plan B. Plan A is to continue to try to get a seat at the big boy table until the door is bolted and locked.
 

Redding Husky

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I am a proponent of being all in on the effort to get into a P5 until the next round of realignment is settled. If we are still on the outside looking in, I would want to look seriously at finding like-minded, more nearby institutions and join/form a more regional G5 league. I think that league should include football. But this is my Plan B. Plan A is to continue to try to get a seat at the big boy table until the door is bolted and locked.
What schools could be in a regional G5?

UConn
Army - they don't want to join a conference
Buffalo
Temple
UMass
Cincinnati - they won't leave the AAC
Navy - they won't leave the AAC
Villanova - they may never jump to FBS
Ohio - will they leave the MAC?
Old Dominion
Marshall

It doesn't look promising.
 
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What is really amazing when you think of colleges cutting sports is to look at the sports programs for some of the most financially sound institutions.

Alabama - 9 men's teams and 11 women's teams
Auburn - 9 men's 11 women's

UConn - 10 men's 12 women's (Men - Uconn has hockey and men's soccer) (Women - Uconn has Field Hockey and Lacrosse but no women's golf)

B1G Schools tens to have more teams

Michigan 13 men's and 14 women's
Nebraska - 9 men's and 13 womens (beach volleyball and rifle included for women)

There may be a giant uproar if UConn cuts sports, but when SEC schools bring in $50M from their contracts and do not support more sports than UConn there is justification for some cost savings.
And UConn isn't going to cut hockey, soccer, or field hockey with the recent successes of those teams. What other teams could they cut?
 
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What schools could be in a regional G5?

UConn
Army - they don't want to join a conference
Buffalo
Temple
UMass
Cincinnati - they won't leave the AAC
Navy - they won't leave the AAC
Villanova - they may never jump to FBS
Ohio - will they leave the MAC?
Old Dominion
Marshall

It doesn't look promising.
UConn
Temple
Old Dominion
Liberty
UMass
Buffalo

That would be the core group...and a weak group at best. You could provide a little more in terms of regional rivalries if you get the following to jump up to FBS by why would they?

James Madison
Villanova

What would be a game changer is 1) the Mountain West fell apart and the AAC grabbed travel partners for the Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana teams in San Diego State, Fresno State, and Nevada. Or perhaps the PAC-12 crumbles and the Mountain West and the AAC raid them both?

Raiding from other G5 conferences other than the Mountain West's best in Boise State, Fresno State, and Utah State will do NOTHING for UConn football. Regional conferences are dead. Heck FBS is getting closer to splitting even further anyway so it's all a pipe dream. UConn needs to either get lucky with a Big 12 or ACC expansion or we all just need to get used to being in the AAC.
 

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