Wichita State has indicated the school would be willing to leave the Missouri Valley Conference and become a member of the American Athletic Conference as soon as next season, a source with direct knowledge said.
The Missouri Valley Conference has been told of the Shockers' interest to leave as early as this fall, the source said.
ESPN reported last week the AAC will make a decision in the coming weeks and/or months on whether to add Wichita State to the league, and the source said Thursday the conference's interest in adding Wichita State to the league remains high.
There is no specific buyout, but if the Shockers leave without giving the MVC 24 months' notice then Wichita State has to surrender its NCAA tournament basketball victory revenue to the conference. That means that the revenue that Wichita State earned from its opening-round victory in this year's NCAA tournament would remain with the MVC.
If the Shockers are added, it would give the AAC a former Final Four team and a high-profile basketball addition. The AAC currently has 11 basketball-playing members and 12 for football, with Navy as football-only participant.
The Shockers would make the move only if their 15 sports were added to the AAC. Under NCAA rules, a non-football playing member has to add all of its sports to the league.
The Shockers would also have to pay an entry fee to get into the AAC.
Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall, in an interview with Dari and Mel on ESPN Radio earlier this month, addressed the speculation.
"The reason I came to Wichita State after all those years at Winthrop is I wanted a chance for at-large births, and we've gotten four," he said. "We've been in the tournament six years in a row now and we've gotten four. I want to continue to have that opportunity. Now, if we can do that in the Missouri Valley Conference, great. If not, maybe the American gives us a better opportunity, but I definitely don't want it to always come down to the last Sunday like a couple of prognosticators were saying, if we don't win the Valley Tournament we're done, cause I got fed up with that at Winthrop."