Updated May 30, 10:44 a.m.
Butler will join Atlantic 10 competition in all sports next season, after initially planning to become a league member for the 2013-14 season. The move brings the conference’s total number of programs for the upcoming season to 16, after VCU announced it would join the A-10 May 15.
An “accelerated timetable was made possible by both leagues,” a Butler release reported, announcing the Bulldogs’ early exit from Horizon League competition.
“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 the release. “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 Atlantic 10’s statement hinted at a more contentious parting between the Bulldogs and their current league, with A-10 commissioner Bernadette McGlade pointing to “unfortunate” circumstances behind Butler’s early addition.
ESPN reported “the move was made in reaction to news that the Horizon League would not allow the Bulldogs to compete for any conference titles or in any conference tournaments in their originally scheduled final season. ”
“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 accommodate Butler’s entry into the A-10 on July 1, 2012,” 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.”