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Butler eyes move to Atlantic 10, ESPN says

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Butler University is interested in joining the Atlantic 10 Conference for all sports except football, according to a report Monday afternoon from ESPN.com

The Indianapolis private college could be a candidate to replace Temple University, which is slated to join the Big East in the fall of 2013.

Jim McGrath, spokesman for Butler’s sports department, said the university has not entered into formal talks with anyone about switching conferences. “But, like any college, we’re aware of the changing landscape of college conferences,” he said.

If it makes a move to the Atlantic 10, Butler would not be the only Midwest university in the conference. The University of Dayton and Xavier University of Ohio and Saint Louis University of of Missouri also are members.

Butler is a co-founding member of the Horizon League and has been among its most dominant men's basketball programs, advancing to the NCAA championship game in 2010 and 2011.

Butler and Loyola University have been members of the league since 1979, when it formed as the Midwestern City Conference. It later became the Midwestern Collegiate Conference before taking the Horizon name in 2001.

Butler lost to Valparaiso University in this year’s semifinals of the Horizon men's basketball tournament. The Bulldogs (20-14) will host the University of Delaware on Wednesday in the opening round of the College Basketball Invitational.

Only on Horizon League member will play in the NCAA men's basketball tournament this year, the University of Detroit, which won the conference tournament. Meanwhile, the Atlantic 10 place four schools in the NCAA tourney.

Butler’s football program plays in the Pioneer Football League, an NCAA conference composed of 10 schools that do not award football scholarships.

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  • HoosierD
    I understand and agree with your sentiment, HoosierDaddy, but it seems somewhat misplaced here. If Butler were to join the A10, then rivalries with Dayton, St Louis and Xavier would be rekindled. Granted, the Butler/Valpo rivalry would again become non-conference but that has been the case since at least the 1980s except for recent years when Valpo joined the Horizon. I don't think Butler has much history with the remainder of the Horizon, except perhaps Detroit.
  • False Flag
    Fortunatly from a Midwest College Bball fan's perspective, this is a false flag story. Katz had it wrong and this story has been debunked.
    But, I wanted to take a minute and say that I think this would have been a bad move on Butler's part.
    I love midwestern NCAA basketball, and I watch the Big 10, MAC, MVC, Horizon League, and even the Summit League basketball games on television, and I've been watching the NCAA's since the UCLA days with John Wooden. So, I've seen a lot of basketball in my time. I've also lived in Dayton for sixteen years, and while I've watched some UD Flyer baksetball games, I lose a lot of interest during the A10 season. For me, the A10 is boring basketball, I just can't get behind the rivalries and they seem flat and uninspired.
    Should Butler join the A10, I'd watch the Butler games pre A10, but would definitely turn them off the minute they were playing the likes of Rhode Island, Saint Bonneventure, and LaSalle. Those matchups don't excite me, and they never will.
    The same thing happened when Notre Dame joined the Big East, and I grew up just 40 minutes south of Notre Dame's campus. I watch ND roundball in their pre Big East matchups, but turn them off when the Big East games begin. I could care less about Notre Dame matching up against Syracuse, or Seton Hall. Boring matchups.
    So, yes I'm a guy that likes the regional matchups and rivalries. As a fan, I would prefer to watch geographical rivalries that make sense, rather than universities that prostitute themselves to the highest bidder. Realignment will happen, and should happen, but this fan is profoundly bored with the whole thing.

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