It was officially announced this morning, Wednesday, March 20 that Butler University would be joining the "Catholic 7," along with Xavier and Creighton to form the new Big East Conference on July 1, 2013.
There have been talks in the past couple months, but nothing had actually been made official until the school's announcement earlier today. Now, it is set in stone that a majority of the Bulldogs' athletic programs will be competing amongst some of the nation's elite schools in the reformed Big East conference.
With Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame all leaving the current Big East to expand the Atlantic Coast Conference this Fall to start the 2013-14 school and athletic year, there was little wonder that it would take any time at all for the Catholic 7 to find some new conference mates.
New Big East members Butler, Creighton and Xavier will join the Catholic 7 from DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John's and Villanova. In the 2014-15 academic year, current Atlantic 10 members, Dayton and Saint Louis, are projected to join the Big East to give the reconfigured conference 12 members.
Butler is no stranger to representing its school and the city of Indianapolis on a national level in the NCAA Championships in their previous conference affiliations in the former Mid-Continent, Horizon and Atlantic 10. They have won NCAA National Championships in men's and women's basketball, men's soccer, volleyball, men's cross country, lacrosse and baseball in its storied athletic history. In the past 10 years, Bulldog athletics has won a total of 29 conference championships.
Recently, Butler men's basketball achieved what no one thought was possible. They shocked the nation when the men's basketball team made NCAA Tournament runs all the way to the National Championship game two years in a row, before bowing out to Duke in 2010 (61-59) and Connecticut in 2011 (53-42).
The only Butler athletic program not affected by this move to the Big East is the football program. Butler football will remain a member of the Pioneer League and other programs will start their Big East membership in the Fall of 2013.
This makes things look bigger and brighter for Butler University athletics on a national level. It will help with their recruiting and exposure in a tremendous way.