UConn’s exit from the American Athletic Conference has a hefty price tag.
According to multiple reports, the school will pay the AAC $17 million so it can leave the conference. UConn is joining the Big East in all sports but football. The football program will be independent.
According to sources, UConn’s exit fee will be payable in two lump sums this year and next, and incremental payments of roughly $1 million annually for the next six years.
“We all understood that there was a minimum exit fee that we were aware of in our bylaws," UConn athletic director David Benedict said. "And the additional money over and above that, when you look at the grand scheme of things, we’ll be able to recover that money in short order based on the cost savings in travel as well as the increased sales we’re going to have, and all of the indirect benefit we’re going to receive.”
The fee UConn is paying to the AAC is larger than the fee that Louisville and Rutgers paid to leave the AAC (formerly the Big East) in 2014. Back then, the two schools paid approximately $11 million each. Louisville left for the ACC and Rutgers left for the Big Ten — conferences with much more revenue and prestige than the current iteration of the Big East.
UConn is leaving the AAC after it’s struggled in both football and men’s basketball in recent seasons. The football team might have been the worst at college football’s top level in 2018 and the men’s basketball team was 6-12 in the AAC and 16-17 overall a season ago.
The Huskies’ departure is effective after the 2019-20 sports seasons.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports
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