Weix's Take: Butler To A-10?

With Temple leaving the Atlantic 10 in 2013, a replacement could be Butler. A10Report.com's Ben Weixlmann explains what it would mean for the league.

In an age where conference realignment information is frequently circulated, the Atlantic 10 has now been added to the mix.

According to an ESPN report, Butler has expressed interest in joining the conference starting in 2013.

This potential move comes on the heels of Temple leaving for the Big East effective next year for football and in 2013 for basketball and the other "Olympic sports".

So what does it all mean for the A-10, you might ask?

This has to be good news for the current member institutions. Butler, in many minds, would be Option No. 1 to replace the Owls.

The A-10 is able to expand its footprint into the Midwest and add another major media outlet, as Butler is located in Indianapolis. Basketball stalwarts Xavier and Dayton will appreciate the move geographically and Saint Louis, who is headed to the NCAA Tournament this year, will benefit from the addition.

The smaller schools on the East Coast are perhaps a tad lukewarm on the topic, in favor of a CAA team such as George Mason or VCU. However, adding a basketball program at the caliber of Butler is a long-term positive both on the court and financially.

From Butler's perspective, the move would be a jump in competition level. Butler's current conference, The Horizon League, for example, has just two teams going to the NCAA and NIT combined, whereas the A-10 has eight such squads.

One would have to assume that Brad Stevens, who has led the Bulldogs to back-to-back national championship appearances, would endorse such a move. After all, the chance to play against high-level competition in large markets can only enhance the growth of his budding program.

As an Atlantic 10 basketball writer and enthusiast, I think this would be a phenomenal move for both parties. As stated in thousands of columns throughout the country, losing Temple is a massive detriment to the conference. The Owls were an NCAA Tournament fixture and have been able to schedule tough non-conference opponents throughout their time in the A-10.

If Butler were to join, it likely wouldn't be the end of conference shakeups. Charlotte looks like it is on its way out, too. That would free up yet another space for the A-10 to add a talented basketball program.

With information so fluid these days, nothing is set in stone, but adding Butler would be a start to filling the void of Temple leaving.


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