AP source: Wichita State in serious talks to join AAC
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Wichita State and the American Athletic Conference are in serious talks to have the school join the league as a non-football member as early as next fall, a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations said Friday.
No move would be announced before the end of the NCAA Tournament, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk about the negotiations.
Any increase in membership would have to be approved by the presidents of the schools in the league.
Officials at Wichita State and the Missouri Valley Conference did not immediately return messages seeking comment from the AP.
AAC spokeswoman Bernadette Cafarelli said the conference would not comment on any internal matters. The conference's commissioner, Mike Aresco, was not immediately available. Aresco has said the league is open to improving the basketball conference, but would not be willing to go back to the old Big East model of having multiple non-football schools.
The timing of the school's move was first reported by Sports Illustrated.
The AAC currently has 12 members for football: UCF, Cincinnati, UConn, East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, Navy, SMU, South Florida, Temple, Tulane and Tulsa.
But Navy is a football-only school. Wichita State, which ended its football program in 1986, would give the league 12 schools for basketball, which would make scheduling easier.
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