In another shake-up to the D1 Women's rowing landscape, row2k has learned that the American Athletic Conference (AAC) will no longer sponsor a Women's Rowing Championship after 2024.
The American will be down to just four schools after 2024, following the three most recent changes to its membership: San Diego State cutting its program in 2020-21, UCF moving to the Big 12 this season, and SMU departing for the ACC after this year. By 2025, only two member schools with rowing (Temple and Tulsa) and two affiliate members (Old Dominion and Sacramento State) will remain, and it appears that the conference will get out of the rowing business rather than seek additional affiliate members.
The change, in conjunction with the dissolution of the PAC-12 Conference, will leave just 9 of the current 11 AQ-earning conference championships on the calendar in 2025 - unless further conference shuffling creates a new group that meets the six-school minimum required to qualify for an AQ.
The NCAA D1 rules require a minimum of six schools for a conference to earn an AQ for their champion; the American is at five this year without UCF, but a one year grace period will allow the American to award one final AQ in 2024 before SMU's ACC move drops them to four schools.
Since the NCAA D1 Championships will remain at 22 schools, it seems likely that there will be 2 additional At-Large bids up for grabs in 2025, pending any further changes.