Butler leaving Horizon League - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Butler leaving Horizon League

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INDIANAPOLIS -

Butler is leaving the Horizon League and its next stop is the Atlantic 10.

Horizon League Commissioner Jon LeCrone said Wednesday that he had been informed by Butler that the school is leaving for another conference.

The Atlantic 10 is looking to replace Temple, which will join the Big East in all sports other than football in 2013-14. The football team will begin playing football in the Big East this fall.

A-10 officials are reportedly interested in adding three schools -- Butler, George Mason and Virginia Commonwealth -- following Temple's departure.

Butler's men's basketball team advanced to the NCAA championship game in 2010 and 2011.

Press release from Butler:

Butler University will join the Atlantic 10 Conference beginning with the 2013-2014 season, President James M. Danko announced today.

"Butler University is pleased to be the newest member of the Atlantic 10 Conference," Danko said. "The universities in this conference are strong academically and they value the student-athlete experience. Butler fits well with them and we look forward to being part of their tradition of excellence."

The move will cover all Butler athletic teams except football, which will remain in the Pioneer League, and woman's golf. The Atlantic 10 does not host woman's golf, so Butler will look to another conference for that sport.

Danko said the move makes sense for Butler academically and financially. The Atlantic 10 ranked third among all Division I conferences in the most recent NCAA graduation rates, with 89 percent of student-athletes graduating.

"Moving to the Atlantic 10 allows us to associate and compete with institutions with outstanding academic profiles and values," Butler Athletic Director Barry Collier said. "They value the experience of the student-athlete." 

Although some competitions may be further in distance, the out-of-class time for our student-athletes will be reduced because many A-10 games are scheduled for weekends and not all schools in the conference play each other every year.

"Our student success in the classroom will never be compromised," Collier said.

Joining the Atlantic 10 also increases Butler's visibility beyond the Midwest, which means greater student recruitment opportunities, Danko said.

A-10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade described Butler as "a perfect fit" for the conference. Butler "bring a tradition of excellence in academics, athletics, integrity and personnel," McGlade said. "As a conference driven by national prominence in men's basketball, Butler further strengthens our league. Complementing their success in men's basketball is a broad-based sports program that will compete well in the A-10."

Danko thanked Horizon League Commission Jon LeCrone and the schools in the Horizon League for their support. Butler was a charter member of the Midwestern City Conference (later renamed Midwestern Collegiate Conference and then Horizon League).  The league formed in 1979 with Butler, Evansville, Loyola, Oklahoma City, Oral Roberts and Xavier. 

Butler was in the Indiana Collegiate Conference from 1950 to 1978 and was an independent in 1978-79. From 1946-50, Butler was in the Mid-American Conference.

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