UConn will pay the American Athletic Conference $17 million when it leaves for the Big East next summer, according to a report from the Hartford Courant. The school announced earlier this month that it is leaving the conference in favor of the Big East in all sports other than football. The AAC confirmed that financial details with UConn have been finalized, but did not report specifics of the agreement.
According to the report, the conference will withhold $5.1 million from UConn this year, between $5-6 million next summer, and the school will pay roughly $1 million for the next six years to reach the $17 million. UConn will owe more than the agreement between the conference and other schools dictates because UConn will leave the conference earlier than the 27 months notice required by the conference.
"As a founding member of the AAC, UConn has greatly valued its membership," UConn president Susan Herbst wrote in a letter to AAC commissioner Mike Aresco earlier this month. "We wish to discuss the potential future relationship between our organizations, if any, as well as the terms and timing of UConn's withdrawal from the AAC."
The timetable for UConn athletics move is now complete, but the future of UConn's football remains very murky. The Big East does not sponsor football, which means that the program is left with very few options moving forward. It could become an independent like UMass did when it left the Mid-American Conference after the 2015 season. Other options include dropping down to the FCS level in another conference or joining another FBS league if one would have it.