Florida Atlantic University athletics will officially become members of the American Athletic Conference in July of 2023.
Florida Atlantic will formally notify Conference USA of its intention to leave the conference following the 2022-23 academic year.
"We are incredibly excited about our future in the American Athletic Conference," said FAU President John Kelly. "Florida Atlantic has gained national recognition for academic and athletic excellence, and membership in The American will help propel the university to the next level. We look forward to welcoming our new conference rivals and their fans to beautiful Boca Raton."
"Florida Atlantic Athletics has an extremely bright future," FAU Vice President & Director of Athletics Brian White said. "Today, we have more clarity on that future, which is exciting to everyone associated with the Owls. We look forward to our final year in Conference USA, while also continuing our diligent work in preparation to join The American."
Florida Atlantic's men's soccer and men's and women's swimming and diving teams will serve as affiliate members of The American this fall.
The exposure afforded the university through athletics will showcase the university on a national stage. The American's partnership with ESPN's family of networks includes 40 conference-controlled football games and 60 conference-controlled men's basketball games airing on ESPN linear outlets per year.
Upon the move to The American, FAU will have the opportunity for exposure in four of the top 10, seven of the top 25 and 12 of the top 51 Nielsen media markets. The Owls will face four teams from the state of Texas, two in North Carolina and one each from Louisiana, Tennessee and Alabama. Additionally, for the first time, the Owls will travel to face conference foes in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Oklahoma and Kansas, as well as competing against in-state foe USF.
The move is another example of the university's efforts to ascend as one of the nation's top athletics programs. FAU began competing as an NCAA division I institution in 1993-94 and first held membership with the Atlantic Sun Conference, then known as the Trans America Athletic Conference, moved to the Sun Belt in 2004 and then to Conference USA in 2013.
Great move for FAU. Not what the Big East was when Coach was at FAU. Neither in name nor teams. The landscape has changed so much. The American won't be what it was either, with the loss of UCF, Houston, and Cincy to the Big 12.
I like the move, but not the Big East referenced by Coach when he built FAU.
Big East 2003
No matter how you cut it the AAC is literally the current rendition of the Big East. Just under a different name. I believe it is even the same legal entity.
This was Howardís dream. We did it. HUGE accomplishment. Sky really is the limit here.
I am actually shocked that WKU and MTSU chose to stay and EVEN MORE SHOCKED about Liberty wanting in!!!! They and WKU should dominate in all ways for as long as they stay.
Yea itís the best move we could have made to move up a division. Presumably, the next stop is a P5 conference but who knows what college athletics will look like by then. I think that the USFL and SEC will eventually merge.†