By: Skip Bayless ~Certified Idiot~
It’s official. The Cincinnati Bearcats have made the decision to leave the American Athletic Conference (AAC) and are set to join the Eastern Cincinnati Conference (ECC) effective next season. They will face-off against some of the premier high school competition in the city, which offers more competition than their current conference.
Cincinnati has expressed the desire to join a new conference, but since being denied admission into the Big 12 a few months ago, it was forced to search for alternate options.
Athletic Director Mike Bohn commented on the announcement last week, saying that “The American Athletic Conference has suffered greatly from a lack of competition over the last few years. We were considering all viable options and came upon this opportunity, not thinking twice about the ultimate decision that was made.”
Cincinnati has made a serious commitment and investment to switch conferences. AAC regulations set the exit fee for leaving the conference at a hefty $10 million price tag.
Bohn also made a statement about the level of competition when addressing the media.
“Joining the Eastern Cincinnati Conference was a strategic move by our athletic program, Bohn said. “We are hoping that the level of competition and being able to play against the city of Cincinnati’s top young and promising teams will give us a better chance at building our programs collectively. We are also hoping that by this switch, we are able to amass community support for the appreciation of athletics in our area.”
Cincinnati men’s basketball coach Mick Cronin chimed in on the news by stating that “Mike [Bohn] and I met almost immediately after losing in the NCAA tournament. He approached me about the offer to join the new conference. After thinking about it, I agreed with him. Something had to be done. Teams like UCONN who usually dominate this league had an abnormally lackluster season, and this trend of teams performing poorly in league play has been a prevalent issue for a few years now. I am excited for my team and for this great opportunity.”
The ECC will be offering high-quality play for the Bearcats at every turn. In football, UC will be challenged by Turpin, who went undefeated last season before losing in the second round of the playoffs. It will also challenge Walnut Hills in basketball, who finished the season with an overall record of 18-7 but lost in the second round of the playoffs.
Cincinnati fans have been calling for a change of conferences, and they certainly got what they wished for. Now they are gearing up to enter the ECC at full force.