ESPN’s Brett McMurphy, Andy Katz and Dana O’Neil have reported Butler will join the “Catholic 7” segment of the Big East next season.
The Butler Collegian reported in December that the Big East would be splitting and Butler was considering joining the Catholic 7, despite being in its first season in the Atlantic 10 Conference.
You can see that article here:
At that time, Butler President Jim Danko neither confirmed nor denied any intent to switch conferences for the second time in two years.
On Dec. 17, Danko sent an email to the Butler community addressing the rumors.
“In terms of the announcement by the “Catholic 7” schools to separate from the Big East, I greatly respect—and agree with—their collective conviction that, if they do not control their own destiny, someone else will,” Danko said. “Butler, too, has controlled its destiny proactively, for example, when it made the decision to join the excellent Atlantic 10 Conference.
“Our administrators, our coaches, our trustees and our team will continue to do what is right for Butler and its students.”
Jim McGrath, Butler sports information director, said in an email that the athletics department “has no comment on a change in conference affiliation at this time.”
Reports say Xavier is expected to make the move with Butler, but neither school has made a formal withdrawal from the A-10.
Today in an interview Xavier coach Chris Mack told reporters he had no idea about the rumors and gave no indication that Xavier would leave the A-10.
“Yeah I had no idea about that one,” Mack said. “The A-10’s been great and we’ll see how things play out.”
It could cost Butler as much as $2 million to leave the A-10 without giving a year notice.
The A-10 conference has been contacted for a statement with no response.
The Catholic 7 are: Villanova, Georgetown, St. John’s, DePaul, Marquette, Providence and Seton Hall.
In an email with the Collegian, Georgetown Sports Information Director Mike Carey declined to comment on Butler’s status as it pertains to the Big East and Catholic 7.
The group is expected to retain the Big East name for its new conference.
The split is not official, but is being expedited by a potential media deal with Fox Sports Network. ESPN reported the deal could mean $2 million profit for each of the new conference’s schools.
The Big East, minus the seven, met today but no decision was reached.
Butler is receiving $400, 000 with its current media deal.
The new Big East would be an official conference on July 1.
Last updated Friday, March 1 at 9:20 p.m.