First, it was a 30 minute interview. It was wide ranging and covered lots of topics. First Mike Aresco was very cordial and was very complimentary of BYU. Criddle asks a direct question if they AAC would be interested in a schedulinig agreement. He did not say that he WAS NOT interested in that, and actually said it might be something that they might consider. He also said that they have had some preliminary talks with BYU over the years about BYU joining the American. The relevant part starts at the 11:30 mark or so of the interview. In no way does he "close the door" on BYU joining. His tone toward BYU is very positlve and it sounded to me that he would love for BYU to be a part of the AAC.
Whoever drew that conclusion really was hearing what they wanted to hear I think, or have such a negative view of BYU athletics. The discussion about geography was really about the name of the conference being "The Amierican" conference.
There was a discussion about whther or not the AAC would be amenable to having separate contracts for BYU in the way that the MWC and Boise State. He really even game a non anser anser on that one, but said that he did not think that it would be good for the long term health of the conference.
He talked about travel partners. Said that it only applied to basketball, not really football. He said that not every conference has a travel partner system or geography that allows travel partners. He seemed to dismiss the need to have geographic travel partners, and so I think that he was basically saying geography was not that big a deal as some might say. He did say that geography was a bit of an issue, but it did not sound like it was a deal breaker.
So, in my opinion, I think that the AAC would definitely like to lure BYU to their conference. They are trying to market and strenghen their conference. Adding to the mix teams like BYU, Boise State and maybe two other MWC teams (UNLV, SDSU?) might be a step further in that direction.