Should ESPN tell the American to make a football only deal with UConn?

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CL82

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Stay with me; it's not a dumb as it sounds at first blush.
  • This last media deal for the American was built to get ESPN + subscribers.
  • Keeping UConn in the American means that UConn football fans will still need to sign up to see games.
  • Since the bulk of media contract is based upon football, ESPN could reduce the contract less if UConn stays put.
  • Down the road there would less resistance for UConn fans toward + because fans would have already have been using it.
  • Finally it earns ESPN some goodwill in their state of residence. Not a stand alone reason for making a deal but definitely a plus.
 

ConnHuskBask

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Given the bad blood, I doubt it will happen.

That said, Navy gets to be a football-only member, and the AAC/ESPN don't even have rights to their most valuable game (Army/Navy on CBS), so it's not unprecedented.

As much as I am intrigued by Independence, I think if given the option, that AAC Football would be the much safer play.
 

CL82

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I started the same thread on the men's board (by accident, actually, but I decided to keep it there) @Exit 4 makes some good points:
  • Keeps the divisions balanced which keeps the conf champ game in place w/o a waiver.
  • Its the simplest approach, don't need to ponder a replacement or moving forward as an odd eleven school conference.
  • There are no replacements or no real will to add a replacement. Plus. if you are Memphis, Cincy, UH or UCF, why would you want to spend time pondering a replacement when you already have one foot out the door yourself?
  • Navy has already set a precedent here for a football only member. What's the difference if they let UConn do the same?
  • UConn is a cupcake (but with a solid national name) for the other programs / this is both a pro and a con.
Bottomline - keeping UConn is simple and that is worth a lot. Aresco is the only real obstacle to staying.
 
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If the NCAA says no a CCG with 11? Yes. If the NCAA allows the waiver, stay at 11.
 
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Given the bad blood, I doubt it will happen.

That said, Navy gets to be a football-only member, and the AAC/ESPN don't even have rights to their most valuable game (Army/Navy on CBS), so it's not unprecedented.

As much as I am intrigued by Independence, I think if given the option, that AAC Football would be the much safer play.
The AAC will do whatever ESPN tells it to do.

Bad blood or not.
 

ConnHuskBask

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The AAC will do whatever ESPN tells it to do.

Bad blood or not.
Good point. ESPN really owes us a damn favor after all these years. Would be pretty simple for them to call up Mike Aresco (not mad) and just say, the deal stays the same as long as UConn is in the league for football. Then work out some basketball games to save face.
 
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It's possible.

The AAC could keep the football conference championship game without applying for a waiver with the NCAA or adding another team. In basketball, they can go to a round robin of 20 games (now 11 teams) and 20 games seems to the conference trend for basketball. UConn retains a home for football. Maybe ESPN offers to not change the contract if UConn football remains in the conference as I, for one, would buy ESPN+ for football.

All that said, if independence is handled properly, UConn could make more money than in the AAC and play more attractive opponents. If UConn plays 2 to 3 P5 at home every year with Army and UMass every other year, plus BYU every few years and a couple of G5s, that is attractive. But, Independence is a much higher risk strategy than staying in the AAC.
 
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It's not crazy, but I'm actually looking forward to independent football and getting back to playing geographical teams we have SOME history with. This should give us a chance to every year have a game or two against one of Pitt, SU, RU, BC, WVU, Cincinnati, USF.
 
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It's possible.

The AAC could keep the football conference championship game without applying for a waiver with the NCAA or adding another team. In basketball, they can go to a round robin of 20 games (now 11 teams) and 20 games seems to the conference trend for basketball. UConn retains a home for football. Maybe ESPN offers to not change the contract if UConn football remains in the conference as I, for one, would buy ESPN+ for football.

All that said, if independence is handled properly, UConn could make more money than in the AAC and play more attractive opponents. If UConn plays 2 to 3 P5 at home every year with Army and UMass every other year, plus BYU every few years and a couple of G5s, that is attractive. But, Independence is a much higher risk strategy than staying in the AAC.
There is no reason to think ESPN wouldn't want some money back from the conference for losing UConn men's and women's basketball. Why wouldn't they? Any of us would if we were running ESPN. But that is what it is, and is different than asking is there a differential dollar amount that ESPN would pay for retaining UConn football versus losing it. Presumably there is.
 
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If we can get even a partial scheduling affiliation with a P5 like the B1G, such as 2 aways and 1 home per season guaranteed for 5 years, we will be able to fill out a nice schedule. This is already possible with the B1G recognizing UConn as a P5 level opponent for in conference purposes.
 
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I’m very intrigued by the idea of going independent.
Maybe if the Boneyard was calling the shots. How much faith do we have in the administration to make going Independent work the way we are all dreaming it will work?

Having football in the American is a win-win. We get the hoop conference we want and a solid football conference to rebuild in. Of course, I highly doubt us staying in the AAC for football will happen for the reasons others have stated.
 
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Maybe if the Boneyard was calling the shots. How much faith do we have in the administration to make going Independent work the way we are all dreaming it will work?

Having football in the American is a win-win. We get the hoop conference we want and a solid football conference to rebuild in. Of course, I highly doubt us staying in the AAC for football will happen for the reasons others have stated.
Dave Benedict was a near the top of the Auburn athletic department. You don’t get there without understanding the football landscape.
 
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Assuming both Aresco and ESPN have telephones or other way since to communicate i would find it hard to believe ESPN would sit by while Aresco has been so adament about UConn not being allowed to play just football in the AAC.

You have to believe ESPN and Aresco have had this conversation.
If it turns out UConn football stays in the AAC it will be incredible embarrassing for Aresco.
 

UConnNick

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If the NCAA says no a CCG with 11? Yes. If the NCAA allows the waiver, stay at 11.
What are the odds that Emmert doesn't approve the waiver faster than grease goes through a goose? He'll do anything to screw us. He's like a Sicilian...he never forgets!
 
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Assuming both Aresco and ESPN have telephones or other way since to communicate i would find it hard to believe ESPN would sit by while Aresco has been so adament about UConn not being allowed to play just football in the AAC.

You have to believe ESPN and Aresco have had this conversation.
If it turns out UConn football stays in the AAC it will be incredible embarrassing for Aresco.
I would beg to differ. Aresco may have informed a party at ESPN, but I doubt either side has discussed how UConn's departure will specifically impact the new media deal. I would think Aresco needs to present ESPN with a plan of what the AAC may do and what impact that would have on the contract, but he needs to have the AAC schools on board as well. I would think that will happen over the next few months.

Heck, ESPN may come back and say if you leave UConn football in the AAC, we won't change the media deal.
 

UConnNick

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I would beg to differ. Aresco may have informed a party at ESPN, but I doubt either side has discussed how UConn's departure will specifically impact the new media deal. I would think Aresco needs to present ESPN with a plan of what the AAC may do and what impact that would have on the contract, but he needs to have the AAC schools on board as well. I would think that will happen over the next few months.

Heck, ESPN may come back and say if you leave UConn football in the AAC, we won't change the media deal.
This is true. BB means nothing to any of these media outlets.
 
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If the AAC let's UConn Football remain, then it could open the gates for others like Cinci and Temple to do the same thing. Wichita State will want out. It will be anarchy.

Schools should be in regional conferences when it comes to all sports except football, and UConn is the trailblazer.
 
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If the AAC let's UConn Football remain, then it could open the gates for others like Cinci and Temple to do the same thing. Wichita State will want out. It will be anarchy.

Schools should be in regional conferences when it comes to all sports except football, and UConn is the trailblazer.
I like the “UConn is actually the savior of college sports” narrative lol
 
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I'm sure all the scenarios have been thought out and figured. From the original AP announcement:

"The ESPN contract also includes language that would protect the network, should marquee schools, such as UCF, Cincinnati or UConn leave for another conference."
 

Exit 4

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If the AAC let's UConn Football remain, then it could open the gates for others like Cinci and Temple to do the same thing. Wichita State will want out. It will be anarchy.

Schools should be in regional conferences when it comes to all sports except football, and UConn is the trailblazer.
Where would those other schools go? Do they really have better alternatives for BB and other sports like we do?

We are moving to reduce travel costs and just as importantly, re-energize ticket sales/fan interest which waned in the AAC mightily. Does Temple and Cincy really have a similar issue with their fan bases and an obvious place to go that would legitimately boost fan interest by 20-30% out of the gate?
 
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Where would those other schools go? Do they really have better alternatives for BB and other sports like we do?

We are moving to reduce travel costs and just as importantly, re-energize ticket sales/fan interest which waned in the AAC mightily. Does Temple and Cincy really have a similar issue with their fan bases and an obvious place to go that would legitimately boost fan interest by 20-30% out of the gate?
The ECFA TM of course.

I don't know if they have any issues but if they do, and being that the basketball conference sucks, they may consider something drastic. They both have Big East programs coming to their own cities so I would imagine their basketball fans can't be too happy.
 

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