As support for the power conferences in college football getting a chance to play by a set of modified rules or guidelines, the American Athletic Conference continues to make a case for being included in the big boys club. commissioner Mike Aresco says his conference is ready to provide some of the benefits the other big conferences desire, scholarships providing for the full cost of attendance.
Mike Aresco: “We’ve committed to provide a full cost of attendance stipend if that’s passed.”
— Neill Ostrout (@NeillOstrout) February 15, 2014
Aresco noted the AAC is among the “high resource” conferences in the country, suggesting the conference should be included in the conversation with the Big Ten, ACC, SEC and so on. This is a familiar stance. When the Big East still fielded a football conference, the sales pitch was always that the conference expected to be included in any potential plans the power conferences had drafted, including a possible split from the NCAA. With the topic of autonomy spreading and gaining support for the power conferences, the AAC is once again making a case to be included in the process.
According to Ostrout, Aresco suggested the AAC has sources of revenues other conferences lack. What he is referring to is the incoming exit fee money to be paid to the conference by Rutgers and Louisville, and any other leftover payments still due from previous members. Rutgers will be leaving for the Big Ten this year and agreed to a buyout price of $11.5 million to leave the conference for the Big Ten. Louisville had previously negotiated an $11 million exit fee.