UAB, 5 others to officially join American Athletic Conference for 2023 football season –

Bill Clark and UAB will officially become members of the American Athletic Conference on July 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Brett Duke, File)AP
UAB and five other members of Conference USA will officially make the leap to the American Athletic Conference for the 2023-24 athletic year, the schools and league announced Wednesday.
The AAC has reached entrance agreements with UAB, Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Rice and UT San Antonio, commissioner Mike Aresco said. The move had been set since October, though no official start date had been announced before Wednesday ( reported at the time that the 2023-24 start date was most likely).
“We are extremely pleased and excited to welcome our new members to the conference in 2023, as we begin our second decade,” Aresco said. “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 newcomers will officially join the conference on July 1, 2023, a day after Central Florida, Cincinnati and Houston depart for the Big 12. They will join East Carolina, Memphis, SMU, South Florida, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa and Navy/Wichita State to form a 14-team conference (Navy is a member in only football; Wichita State in every sport except football).
UAB plays its final Conference USA seasons in all sports in 2022-23. The Blazers have been a member since the league formed in 1995.
“We’re looking forward to competing for championships in the AAC, and it is an exciting milestone to now know when that will begin,” UAB president Ray Watts said. “I want to thank and congratulate everyone who helped make this a reality, including the AAC leadership and member institutions, Director of Athletics Mark Ingram, his talented UAB Athletics team, the UAB Athletics Foundation, the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees, UA System Chancellor Finis St. John and the UA System Office, as well as other key leaders and supporters inside and outside of UAB.”
Conference USA shrinks from a 14-member league to nine schools in 2023-24, with Jacksonville State, Liberty, New Mexico State and Sam Houston State joining holdovers Florida International, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee, UTEP and Western Kentucky. The league previously lost Marshall, Old Dominion and Southern Miss to the Sun Belt Conference, which also added former FCS school James Madison.
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