CHAPEL HILL – What’s left of the old Big East Conference announced Wednesday that it will be renamed the American Athletic Conference or    the AAC.
The conference “will rebrand as such across all platforms, associations and media at the conclusion of the 2012-13 sports seasons,” according to a press release.

The announcement was made by Commissioner Mike Aresco with unanimous approval by the conference’s Board of Directors.

There’s been mixed reaction on the internet and social media sights about the AAC name. Some people (mostly ACC people) say the resemblance to the ACC might cause some confusion. But imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?
“We worked with our institutions, sports marketing experts, media partners, and also solicited opinions and reactions from collegiate sports fans to create a compelling list of names,” said Aresco.  “Versions that included the word ‘American’ led every list.  American Athletic Conference represents a strong, durable and aspirational name for our reinvented Conference.”
Beginning with the 2014-15 academic year, the AAC will consist of the University of Central Florida, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Connecticut, East Carolina University, the University of Houston, the University of Memphis, Southern Methodist University, the University of South Florida, Temple University, Tulane University and the University of Tulsa.

The U.S. Naval Academy will become a football-only member in 2015 and the conference will play a football championship game.

The old Big East needed a new name after the Catholic 7 schools– DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s and Villanova — kept the Big East name when it announced it the split to form a separate league.

The new 10-team Big East begins July 1 with the Catholic 7 schools, plus Butler, Creighton and Xavier.

Former Big East schools are heading to the ACC this summer– Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse. In 2014, Louisville will follow.