Hinkle Fieldhouse will soon become a destination for likes of St. John's, Villanova and Marquette, as school will apparently leave Atlantic 10 in favor of Big East. (Photo courtesy of Butler University)
Brad Stevens and Butler University will soon be coming to Madison Square Garden, the Prudential Center and the Wells Fargo Center as well, if the reports are true.
According to David Woods, who covers the Bulldogs for the Indianapolis Star, Butler will depart the Atlantic 10 next week and become the eighth school to join the soon-to-be reformed Big East, whose seven basketball-only schools announced their separation from football schools such as Connecticut, Cincinnati, Louisville and Rutgers earlier this month.
The change in conference affiliation will cost Butler a $2 million exit fee, and the Bulldogs may not be the only Atlantic 10 program jumping ship. Rumors also indicate Xavier will soon make the move to the Big East as well, with Creighton potentially leaving the Missouri Valley to give the new Big East ten programs before Dayton and Saint Louis potentially come aboard to create a twelve-team league.
Regardless of financial settlements, the move is the official declaration that Butler has arrived as a major college basketball program. Even though the Bulldogs will eventually be competing in their third conference in as many years, Stevens has built his program quietly and confidently, using his trademark "Butler Way" to coach the Indianapolis institution into consecutive national championship games in 2010 and 2011, and had the Bulldogs in the Top 25 for most of the season this year, a campaign that will go down as Butler's first and only in the Atlantic 10.
A Daly Dose Of Hoops will have further details on this situation as they become available. In the meantime, here's the link to David Woods' Indianapolis Star article: