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Former Big East schools pick new name

April 3, 2013 at 8:48 PM

PROVIDENCE, R.I., April 3 (UPI) -- Major college football playing members of the Big East will take on the name American Athletic Conference, the new league announced Wednesday.

The Big East will soon split into two pieces with the so-called Catholic 7 schools forming a basketball-oriented conference that will add Butler, Creighton and Xavier in July. That group will retain the name Big East Conference.

The new league will begin on July 1 and will, at least to start, consist of Central Florida, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Houston, Louisville, Memphis, Rutgers, SMU, South Florida and Temple.

Louisville and Rutgers will soon depart for the Atlantic Coast Conference, after which East Carolina, Tulane, Tulsa and Navy will join the new league.

"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," Commissioner Mike Aresco said.

"Versions that included the word 'American' led every list. American Athletic Conference represents a strong, durable and inspirational name for our reinvented conference."

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