Radio

East Carolina officially joins American Athletic Conference

Posted July 3, 2014

After being a member of Conference USA for the past 13 years, East Carolina officially joined the American Athletic Conference on Tuesday.

While the two conferences are similar with many of the same schools ECU started with in Conference USA, there will be an adjustment for the Pirates to go through.

“I think the biggest change for East Carolina in going from Conference USA to the American is going to be the television,” Denny O’Brien, who has covered the Pirates for the past 15 years, told Adam and Joe on 99.9 The Fan. “Conference USA had its deal with Fox Sports and CBS Sports Network, and by going to the American Conference they have a deal with ESPN.”

“It’s already guaranteed ECU will have six of their broadcasts on either ABC, ESPN, or one of the ESPN networks,” he said. “They’re going to be in more homes, and they’re going to be in a good time slot.”

For no lack of trying, it seems to many that this move comes a few years too late. The American, then known as the Big East, was one of the Big 6 conferences (ACC, SEC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac 12, Big East), but has since fallen out of that grouping.

“In order to realize the true advantages of being in this conference, which really is the old Big East, which, once upon a time, did have access to one of the BCS bowls, and a guaranteed slot in that, so from that, it’s almost a little bit of too little too late,” said O’Brien.

A possible break away of the Power 5 conferences to form a Division 4 could have huge negative repercussions for teams like East Carolina.

“If North Carolina and NC State move to playing nine conference games to only having three to play with, they are going to want to be much more creative with their scheduling,” he said. “Maybe play one game that’s hard to win, but play at least one, maybe two games, that they think they are guaranteed to win, and as we saw last year, East Carolina is not a guaranteed win.”

“From that stand point, it could have a huge negative repercussion on East Carolina, because those games matter on East Carolina’s season ticket package,” O’Brien said.

When all is said and done with East Carolina athletics, the jump to the AAC might not be what is viewed as the biggest jump in their history.

“In reality, when you look back at when East Carolina first joined Conference USA, in my mind, that really was a bigger moment for East Carolina than them moving up to the American now,” said O’Brien. “Before, East Carolina didn’t have a conference at all. Conference USA really was a good experience for East Carolina, for what it provided, and it was a huge step up from going from independent.”



2 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • dave437 Jul 4, 2014

    AAC.....arrrrrrghh.......AAC......arrrrrghh.....

  • roberttherugguy Jul 4, 2014

    Sorry Denny joining Conference USA was not the "bigger moment" for ECU. Let me have your, on second thought, when the Men's and Women's UConn Basketball teams come to Greenville!

  • CBB: Texas A&M at LSU

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

    Tomorrow at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CIAA: Winston Salem State @ Fayetteville State

    Tomorrow at 4:00 pm on METV 50.2

  • Nascar Sprint Cup Series: Sprint Unlimited

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on FOX50

  • Nascar Sprint Cup Series: Daytona 500 Qualifying

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on FOX50

  • CBB: UNC vs. Pittsburgh

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Pittsburgh

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • CBB: NC State vs. Wake Forest

    Tomorrow at 12:00 pm on WRAL-FM

  • CBB: Kansas at Oklahoma

    Tomorrow at 2:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • Adam & Joe broadcast live with alumni of the Hurricanes 2006 Stanley Cup champions

    Today at 3:00 pm

    More Info
  • Jeff Gravley revisits the Canes run to the 2006 Stanley Cup

    Tonight at 6:30

    More Info
Men's College Basketball
6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST
Preview
17
 
19
4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET12:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST
Preview
 
23
5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 北京时间6:00 MST8:00 EST
Preview
 
NBA Scoreboard
Sunday, Feb 14
Western All-Stars 5:00 PT6:00 MT7:00 CT8:00 ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 MST8:00 EST5:00 UAE (+1)02:0020:00 ET7:00 CT23:00
Eastern All-Stars 
 
NHL Scoreboard
Montreal 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET
Preview
Buffalo 
 
Los Angeles 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET
Preview
NY Rangers 
 
Pittsburgh 4:00 PT5:00 MT6:00 CT7:00 ET0:00 GMT8:00 北京时间5:00 MST7:00 EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET
Preview
Carolina 
 
Colorado 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 北京时间5:30 MST7:30 EST4:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ET
Preview
Detroit 
 
Nashville 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 北京时间5:30 MST7:30 EST4:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ET
Preview
Tampa Bay 
 
St. Louis 4:30 PT5:30 MT6:30 CT7:30 ET0:30 GMT8:30 北京时间5:30 MST7:30 EST4:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ET
Preview
Florida 
 
Calgary 6:00 PT7:00 MT8:00 CT9:00 ET2:00 GMT10:00 北京时间7:00 MST9:00 EST6:00 UAE (+1)21:00 ET
Preview
Arizona 
 
ATP Scoreboard
Friday, Feb. 12
Memphis Open (ATP)
 
World Tennis Tournament (ATP)
Quarterfinals
(8) V. Troicki2 1    
N. Mahut6 6    
(6) R. Bautista A77 66 0   
M. Klizan65 78 6   
(2) M. Cilic 
P. Kohlschrei 
(5) G. Monfils 
A. Zverev 
 
Argentina Open (ATP)
Quarterfinals
(5) D. Thiem6 2    
D. Lajovic4 1    
(1) R. Nadal 
P. Lorenzi 
(3) J. Tsonga 
N. Almagro 
(2) D. Ferrer 
(8) P. Cuevas 
 
WTA Scoreboard
Friday, Feb. 12
St. Petersburg Ladies (WTA)
Quarterfinals
(1) B. Bencic     
(5) A. Pavlyuchen     
(2) R. Vinci77 4 77   
T. Babos63 6 64   
(4) A. Ivanovic6 7    
K. Kozlova1 5    
D. Cibulkova6 5 2   
D. Kasatkina4 7 4   
 
Taiwan Open (WTA)
Quarterfinals
(6) S. Hsieh6 6    
E. Kulichkova0 2    
(1) V. Williams7 6    
A. Sevastova5 2    
Semifinals
(2) M. Doi 
(6) S. Hsieh 
(1) V. Williams 
(3) Y. Putintseva