Indianapolis (IN) - Butler and the Atlantic 10 Conference have announced that Butler University will become a full member on July 1, 2012. The move allows Butler to begin play in the Atlantic 10 beginning in the Fall of 2012.
Butler was originally scheduled to leave the Horizon League for the Atlantic 10 beginning in 2013-14.
"We are grateful to the Atlantic 10 for welcoming us into the fold a year ahead of schedule," Butler Athletic Director Barry Collier said in a statement. "Since announcing our intention to depart after 2012-13, Butler and the Horizon League have discussed the terms for next season. Ultimately, it was in our best interest to reach an agreement with the Horizon League for immediate departure."
The Horizon League may have ruled Butler ineligible for conference championships. For basketball, that meant that Butler would have had to receive an at-large bid to compete in the NCAA tournament.
While the Horizon League was eager to push Butler out of the conference, the Atlantic 10 was more than willing to accept Butler this fall along with Virginia Commonwealth University.
"The Atlantic 10 is looking forward to welcoming Butler immediately for participation in our league. We are willing to make all necessary schedule adjustments and modifications to allow Butler entry into the A-10 on July 1, 2012," Atlantic 10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade said in a statement. "The unexpected circumstances that precipitated Butler's request to move immediately were unfortunate, but we will welcome Butler into the A-10 as a valuable new member. The Atlantic 10 has the potential to have the strongest year in league history in 2012-13 with 16 outstanding programs."
If all conference alignment is settled for this fall, the Atlantic 10 will be the largest basketball conference in the country at 16 members.
Temple and Charlotte will leave the Atlantic 10 in 2013, leaving the Atlantic 10 with 14 members.
For basketball, the Atlantic 10 will stay with a 16 game schedule, which will include playing every team once and one team twice. That creates more scheduling needs for Butler's non-conference schedule. Butler now must schedule three additional games with Atlantic 10 having 2 less conference games and not participating in Bracketbusters series.