ESPN: Butler and Xavier have not notified the Atlantic 10 that they plan to leave the conference to join the “new” Big East, A-10 commissioner Bernadette McGlade said Saturday.
“No, as of today all of our members remain full members of the Atlantic 10 and no one has given a notice of withdrawal,” McGlade told ESPN.com before Butler faced VCU in Richmond, Va.
Butler and Xavier plan to join the Big East’s seven departing Catholic schools when they start their own league next season, sources told ESPN this week. The new league will keep the Big East Conference name, sources said.
Butler coach Brad Stevens declined to address the school’s plans after falling to VCU 84-52, his worst loss in six seasons as a head coach.
“I’m in the A-10 and I’m not commenting on anything else other than I’m in the A-10,” Stevens said.
The A-10 already faces the departures of Temple to the Big East and Charlotte to Conference USA this summer.
“Fourteen is a big conference,” for the Atlantic 10 after Temple and Charlotte leave, McGlade said. “Part of our plan was to be a large and strong conference but there is no golden number. Is 16 the perfect number? Or 14 or 12?”
I don’t get these reporters who seemingly missed out on breaking the news of Xavier and Butler leaving trying to make up for it by asking the people involved to comment on the situation. How many times in history has someone directly involved in the unofficial (read: unconfirmed) story told a reporter that the information is true before the big announcement? It literally never happens. What did the reporter expect? Did she expect McGlade or Stevens to make some profound statement to her instead of, you know, waiting for the PR spectacle that is the official press conference? Guess what, lady, you’re not important enough for someone like Stevens and McGlade to answer those questions now. Just wait until the press conference like everyone else.
This ESPN article is 17 (really short) paragraphs long that literally said nothing worth noting other than “Butler and Xavier have not notified the Atlantic 10 that they plan to leave the conference to join the ‘new’ Big East.” This Dana O’Neil lady literally went on and on about stuff that has already been written and has been written by everybody and has been written weeks ago. I mean, she pretty clearly had some sort of word count quota to meet or something. Either that or she felt stupid posting an article that would have been long enough to be a tweet (with characters to spare).
As for the one piece of news-worthy information in this article, of course they haven’t notified the A-10 yet of their intentions. First of all, the new Big East hasn’t officially been recognized as a new D1 conference. I am thinking that will happen after this Tuesday press conference with Fox Sports. Once the announcement on Tuesday is made, then Xavier and Butler will notify the A-10 that they are officially leaving. Second of all, we are approaching March and Xavier is fighting for their lives on the bubble of the Tournament and Butler is very obviously heading in the wrong direction after peaking mid-season after wins over Indiana and Gonzaga. Butler just got completely emasculated by VCU and they need to get their shit together before heading into the A-10 tournament and NCAA tournament. The last thing these schools need is a distraction of that magnitude to get in the way of making a run in the NCAA tourney, if they even get in (in Xavier’s case). These schools are just going to keep giving the stock answer of “no comment” and “we’re in the A-10 now and only focused on our next game.”
As an aside, how pissed is Temple? They announced a couple years ago that they were joining the Big East and then waited the 27 months to avoid the $2M buyout fee. Then all this realignment happened. This certainly isn’t the conference Temple thought they were joining when they agreed to join 2 years ago. Instead of Georgetown, cross-town rival Nova, etc.; they get Tulsa and Houston.