PONTE VEDRA, Fla. — On a day that included plenty of handshakes and introductions, and athletic directors began the American Athletic Conference spring meetings by discussing the minutiae.
But the public rollout of the graphic will come in a week or so. At Day 1 of the American's meeting, the business was routine.
On Tuesday, coaches and directors will again hold meetings while member presidents also gather. Among the topics expected to be discussed is the site selection for the postseason basketball tournaments.
coaches and athletic directors did not address the issue Monday, and Aresco said the conference won't make a decision this week. More likely, the list of candidates will be pared as members choose the final few options.
Connecticut has two venues — XL Center and Mohegan Sun Arena — bidding for the tournaments. The Mohegan Sun Arena, which was nearly awarded the women's tournament two years ago, is viewed as a favorite for the women. The XL Center has hosted the women for 10 years and is interested in both tournaments.
Other candidates include Philadelphia, Tampa and Memphis. Aresco said there are about six venues bidding for the men and three or four for the women.
UConn AD Warde Manuel has expressed his desire for the state to host both tournaments. Members will make the decision through a teleconference vote.
"Now it's down to the presentations and what's been put together by each of the different facilities," Manuel said. "But UConn has one vote. I've been saying I would love to have both tournaments in Connecticut, but we'll see. We'll see where it goes."
"Once we come out of here, we'll have some direction, obviously, from our presidents and ADs," Aresco said. "We'll have a better idea, but I wouldn't save a recommendation."
And once sites are selected, Aresco will go back to the venues and negotiate a deal. The conference must also decide if it wants to rotate the tournament or settle on a single site for the first few years.
Manuel has lobbied for both tournaments, but he's emphatic about the women's tournament remaining in the state. UConn will be the marquee women's program in The American, which will also include Cincinnati, South Florida, Temple, Central Florida, Houston, Southern Methodist, Tulane, East Carolina and Tulsa. Rutgers and Louisville — neither are represented at the meetings — will be members next year before leaving.
"The fan base in our state is what separates us," Manuel said. "So many of our fans support the tournament. They don't just come and show up for our games. They come and support the first couple of days, and it's a great atmosphere for women's basketball."
Manuel spent Monday's session with fellow ADs. Football coaches had their meeting while men's basketball and women's basketball coaches each met in separate rooms. Not all coaches attended — UConn's Kevin Ollie was not there Monday, but Geno Auriemma was present — and Aresco addressed each group.
Pasqualoni, who has been coaching in college or the NFL since 1976, came out of the meeting impressed with his group. He talked about the level of coaching experience with Cincinnati's Tommy Tuberville, SMU's June Jones and Central Florida's George O'Leary.
"These coaches have been doing this for a long time," Pasqualoni said. "I think it's a very strong group of coaches."
Aresco said members ratified a financial distribution plan that will spread a pool of money from exit fees and other revenue sources of the old Big East. He wouldn't provide details other than calling it a "fair and equitable resolution," but holdovers UConn, South Florida and Cincinnati will reportedly net $20 million incrementally.
The distribution plan, Aresco said, was ironed out before Monday, and schools simply put a stamp on the plan. Some administrators, including Manuel, also saw the conference's logo for the first time.
Manuel said he was "very pleased" with what he saw, and Aresco insisted the overall reception from members was positive.
That was the general mood in the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club Monday. There was talk about exposure from the TV contract with ESPN and CBS, about football playing a title game in 2015 and scheduling in the distant future. There was little mention of the Big East or conference realignment.
"It was a good day," Manuel said. "There have always been great discussions with this group, but because everything has sort of worked its way out [with realignment], there's not the discussion about continual, large transitional issues. You're moving on and talking about things going forward, about the future."