Butler fast-tracks into A-10 for the fall

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

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The Atlantic 10 Conference will be chock-full in the fall.

The league announced it will accept Butler as full member immediately, rather than wait until 2013, bringing the A-10 to 16 teams.

An email was sent by the league office to member schools Tuesday informing them of the accelerated timetable.

"Butler was being told by the Horizon [League] they were not going to be eligible to compete in championships their last year. That's a game-changer," Duquesne athletic director Greg Amodio said. "That's about as lame-duck as you can get. We've still got Temple and Charlotte next year -- and we have not eliminated them. Our philosophy is hey, they're still members of our conference and they get the rights of a conference member."

What it will mean is significant schedule shuffling in all sports, and likely a move to a 16-game model in basketball, playing each team once and one team twice.

In the current schedule model, it's 10 teams once and three teams twice.

The new model is speculation at this point, Amodio said, but seems to have some traction.

"They can't move the number of conference games around at this point. Most of us are done with our non-conference schedules," he said. "I'm assuming it's going to be a 16-game schedule, and yeah, if you look at the easiest scenario you play everybody once, and somebody twice."

If the league sticks to natural rivals, Duquesne's "partner" likely would be Saint Bonaventure.

The move will help the league have "the potential to have the strongest year in league history in 2012-13," according to a statement by A-10 commissioner Bernadette McGlade.

"The Atlantic 10 is looking forward to welcoming Butler immediately for participation in our league. We are willing to make all necessary schedule adjustments and modifications to accommodate Butler's entry into the A-10 on July 1, 2012," she said. "The unexpected circumstances that precipitated Butler's request to move immediately were unfortunate, but we will welcome Butler into the A-10 as a valuable new member."

NOTES -- Duquesne formally announced the signing of Jim Ferry's first recruiting class, as reported earlier this month: swingman Queveyn Winters of Milwaukee, guards Derrick Colter of Largo, Md., and Jeremiah Jones of Gary, Ind., and junior college transfer Marvin Binney of Toronto. ... Ferry also announced that 6-8, 220-pound forward Ovie Soko, a UAB transfer from London, signed a financial aid agreement. He will sit out the 2012-13 season due to transfer rules and will have one year of eligibility left. He played in 30 of 31 games in 2011-12 for UAB.

duquesnesports

Jenn Menendez: jmenedez@post-gazette.com. First Published May 30, 2012 12:30 AM


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