American Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco On Keeping Poise And Not Taking Moves Personally

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Here’s my Q&A with American Athletic Conference Commssioner Mike Aresco and more on keeping poise with departing members when all heck was breaking loose.

“I told our staff that whatever happens, we’re going to keep our poise , we’re going to make sure we’re deliberate, we’re going to make whatever decisions we have to make and we’re not going to take it personally because people have reasons for doing what they do whether it’s for finanacial or this reason or that reason and in the end, the high road is always the best road. It just is, period,” Aresco said.

“And it’ll benefit us I think but that’s just the way we wanted to do it. It’s the right way to do it. Ir creates a good feeling, a feeling that you’re cooperating. We had presidents and ADs that supported the way we were going to approach it all. We do have the ability now to have these relationships in the future. If you have acrimony and rnacor and bitterness then it ain’t gonna work. And by the way, my fellow commissioners, John [Swofford of the ACC] have been friends for many years. Jim Delany [of the Big Ten] and I have been friends many years, Mike Slive [SEC], too, we had to go after teams from other conferences. Britton Banowsky [Conferece-USA] and I are very good friends and I would talk to him and be very clear with what we were thinking about. John Swofford was very honest with me with what they were thinking about when they decided ultimately, we knew we they were going to take somebody. The commissioners all get in the room and  they all get along. Look, the Big 12 almost imploded. The Big Ten has taken a team from the ACC. The Pac-12 had the issue with the Big 12 at one point remember and did end up with Colorado and yet the commissioners get in the room and they talk things over and there’s a collegiality because you can’t take it personally and I think that’s very important. You have to focus on building.

“Keeping relationships with schools that left is part of it. That’s absolutely part of it and the rest is to be very intent on competing, have a real fierce determination to be relevant and to compete and I think our presidents and ADs have that and it’s up to me and our conference staff to make sure we give our schools those opportunities that’s why we’re working hard bowls, we’re working hard on venues, we worked hard on making sure financially,  everybody was happy with the way we were going to do business in our conference, making sure that we have good relationships among our own schools….we’re looiking ahead. We’ve got a lot to do. We’ve got a lot to do but we’ve gottent through a lot. I think everybody is pleased we got through it but we have a lot to do.”



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