09 April, 2017
With the addition of Wichita State, more than one-third of the American's schools were previously Missouri Valley Conference members: Cincinnati (1957-69), Houston (1951-59), Memphis (1968-73) and Tulsa (1935-96).
Wichita State is joining the American Athletic Conference beginning next year, a league official with direct knowledge of the situation told The Commercial Appeal. These seeding slights - attributed mainly to Wichita State's weak conference competition - sent the school looking for greener pastures, which it found in an AAC that ranked seventh this past season in conference RPI (the Missouri Valley ranked 12th). Wichita State has not had a football team since 1986. The AAC voted unanimously to admit the Shockers on Friday, according to SI's Pete Thamel. The team has gone to six NCAA tournaments, and advanced to the Final Four in 2013. Wichita State doesn't sponsor a football team, and finished under.500 in women's basketball last season.
The Shockers could reportedly begin play in the AAC as early as next fall.
Wichita State has accepted the invitation to join the American Athletic Conference.
The AAC is perceived as a stronger conference than the MVC and because of this, could give the Shockers more national attention. The move will make the AAC a 12-school league in basketball. "Coach Marshall's program is all about winning championships".
The move would serve to bolster the American's men's basketball profile, but wouldn't do much else for the league.
"They were a program that seemed to have the right fit for us", Aresco said. The Big 12's flirting and teasing with AAC members without ever extending a formal invite to the conference made sure of that.
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The vibe on Wichita State's campus, and across the city was a positive one on Friday.
Wichita State athletic director Darron Boatright said he had no news conferences or celebrations planned, no life-changing moves to report.
"Two years ago, we set out on a fact-finding process to determine the best way athletics could help position the university for enrollment growth and enhance WSU's reputation as an academic and research institution.", said John Bardo, the Wichita State president.
Wichita State is kissing the Missouri Valley goodbye.
Presidents and athletic directors of the nine remaining MVC schools will meet Sunday to discuss realignment options. A school forfeits all its MVC distributions if it gives less than 12 months notice.
Of the group of potential candidates, Belmont, now in the Ohio Valley Conference, has had the greatest recent men's basketball success.