As expected, UConn will no longer be a member of the American Athletic Conference effective after the 2019-2020 sports seasons. The Big East-bound university and AAC agreed on the terms of a buyout that will allow the Huskies to leave the conference in all sports after the upcoming season.
UConn will pay the AAC a total of $17 million by 2026, although it is reported the school will pay a large chunk of the buyout fee over the next two years. The agreement comes after the remaining American Athletic Conference members voted to terminate UConn’s membership with the AAC beginning July 1, 2020 (the typical date for conference realignment changes to take effect).
“I want to thank David Benedict for his leadership and cooperation in reaching a swift and amicable resolution regarding UConn’s departure, and also UConn president Susan Herbst for her support of the conference,” AAC commissioner Mike Aresco said in a released statement on Friday. “We appreciate UConn’s accomplishments in The American, we wish them the best, and we thank them for their contributions over the past six years.”
UConn is reuniting with their old Big East family in all sports but football. The Huskies will move forward as an FBS independent program with no conference currently extending an invitation to join and no conferences showing any public interest in doing so at the time. The Huskies are also working feverishly to fill the 2020 schedule and other future schedules now that they will be independent with plenty of vacancies to fill on the schedule.
It was previously reported the AAC will not look to expand its membership and will remain with 11 football members beginning in 2020.