Butler's Matt Howard (54) celebrates with Ronald Nored (5) after overtime of the NCAA Southeast regional college basketball championship game Saturday, March 26, 2011, in New Orleans. Butler won 74-71 to advance to the Final Four. Butler won 74-71 to advance to the Final Four. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
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Butler to join A-10, replaces Temple

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Butler will officially join the Atlantic 10 conference for the 2013-14 season.

The Bulldogs will leave the Horizon League in most sports and join the A-10, replacing Temple as the league's 14th member.

"The universities in this conference are strong academically, and they value the student-athlete experience," said Butler President James Danko. "Butler fits well with them, and we look forward to being part of their tradition of excellence."

Switching leagues will reunite Butler with some old rivals from its Midwestern Collegiate Conference days including Dayton, Duquesne, Saint Louis and Xavier, who has been a regular appearance on their schedule in recent years with very closely contested matchups.

The Butler football program will remain in the Pioneer League for football and will look for another conference to join for women's golf. The A-10 doesn't currently have that as a league sport.

"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.

"The Presidents of the A-10 member schools could not be more enthusiastic about adding Butler University to our conference," said Father Michael J. Graham, Xavier University President and Chair of the Atlantic 10 Council of Presidents. "Butler is a distinguished institution of higher education, it takes the academic success of its student athletes seriously, and its athletic programs have achieved notable success. In these ways and more, Butler University will enhance the values the A-10 presidents all strongly affirm. We are excited as well to be able to add Indianapolis to our conference footprint and look forward to beginning competition with Butler in 2013-14."

The addition of Butler is part of a five-year Strategic Initiative that the Atlantic 10 adopted in November of 2010.

"Welcoming Butler University as the newest member of the Atlantic 10 Conference is an honor and privilege. Institutionally, they are a perfect fit for the league and bring a tradition of excellence in academics, athletics, integrity and personnel," stated A-10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade. "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."

The Atlantic 10 adds a historically successful men's basketball program in Butler to what is already the best basketball-driven conference in Division I. The only non big six conference to have 41 at-large NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament selections in the past 20 years, including three in 2012, the A-10 has boasted 62 postseason appearances in the last decade.

For the fifth year in a row, the Atlantic 10 Conference earned at least three bids and multiple at-large bids into the NCAA Tournament. Over the last six years, the Atlantic 10 has had 12 at-large selections – the seventh most among all other Division I conferences. A record eight A-10 institutions received invitations to the 2012 NCAA and NIT postseason tournaments, more than all but two conferences.

Butler's move to the A-10 also guarantees that they and the Musketeers will meet regularly during each team's conference schedule, which promises more entertaining basketball for fans on both sides.

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