WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The American Athletic Conference (AAC), which is home to Wichita State University, announced on Wednesday it has finalized entrance agreements with six new schools.
The University of North Carolina-Charlotte, The University of Alabama-Birmingham, Florida Atlantic University, The University of North Texas, Rice University, and The University of Texas-San Antonio all had applications for membership approved by the current conference members.
The announcement comes as three AAC schools, Central Florida, Cincinnati, and Houston, announced their departure to the Big 12 last week. The three departing schools will officially leave on June 30, 2023, while the six incoming schools will join on July 1, 2021.
“We are extremely pleased and excited to welcome our new members to the conference in 2023, as we begin our second decade,” Commissioner Mike Aresco said in a news release. “Our incoming schools comprise a distinguished group with attributes that will enhance our conference’s Power 6 goals.
“We have already seen the investment and commitment that these institutions have made as they prepare to compete in The American, and, together with our accomplished incumbent institutions, the conference is assured of many years of championship-level competition as part of a bright future that will build on the extraordinary legacy of the past decade.”
The six new members will join Wichita State, East Carolina, Memphis, Navy, South Florida, SMU, Temple, Tulane, and Tulsa, bringing the total number of schools in the AAC to 15.
It is still unknown if the departure of Cincinnati, UCF, and Houston will have any bearing on the Big 12’s split with Texas and Oklahoma, who announced in July 2021 that they would be leaving the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in 2025.