AAC boss talks adding Wichita State, future expansion plans

In terms of Wichita, they expressed interest in us, and they’d expressed interest over the past five years in finding a conference that was perhaps a better fit for them. And they were open with their own conference, the Missouri Valley, about that. So we looked at it, and we thought a lot about it during the [Big 12 expansion] period. You had to do a lot of contingency planning during that six-month period. We were going over our options: What if we lose two teams? What if we lose four teams? What if we lose a football-only school? Wichita was certainly in the mix; we knew we needed to strengthen our basketball. To make a long story short, once [the expansion talk] was over, we met in the fall, our presidents and ADs. I felt, and many in the room did, that we didn’t need to do it. We no longer needed to do anything. But we might want to consider whether we should add a basketball school. There was also a feeling that maybe we should look at multiple basketball schools. We ultimately decided we didn’t want to go back to that model, that that was to some extent a very difficult and failed model because it creates tension because schools don’t have the same outlook.

I think [a Power 6] is attainable. I really do. I think these schools have resources. We’ll get a better TV deal. That’s going to be key. In a few years, we’re going to be negotiating. We’ve got the '17–'18, '18–'19 and '19–'20 seasons left to go, but we’ll negotiate well before that. I think our guys have done more with less already.

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