INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - It's official. Monday marked the first day of Butler University's new conference affiliation, joining the likes of Villanova and Georgetown as a member of the "new" Big East Conference. This is the third different athletic conference in three years for the Bulldogs, who moved from the Horizon League to the Atlantic Ten in 2012.
The "new" Big East will be comprised of 10 teams. Butler leaders say they know there will be lots of opportunities in the new conference, but with that comes a lot of challenges. Their main goal is to keep doing things "The Butler Way."
"The key thing for us is to move into this new league with all these new changes and remain the same people with the same goals that we have," Athletic Director Barry Collier said. "We have high expectations and high goals on what we do. But it really is about doing it the right way, we call that The Butler Way."
Men's basketball head coach Brad Stevens agreed, and added that Butler was already on the map for potential high-level athletes. However, joining the Big East might just be enough to put the Bulldogs ahead of other schools for recruits.
"The two Final Four runs opened up a lot of doors with regard to phone calls being answered," Stevens said. "The key moving forward is how can you continue to maximize your best opportunity to get the decision."
Even though the new conference affiliation became official on Monday, the university has been planning for the change since it announced back in March of 2013 that it would be leaving the Atlantic 10 for the Big East.
The men's basketball schedule has not yet been released, however each team will play both home and away games against all other conference teams. The post-season tournament will also continue to be held in Madison Square Garden in New York City. The other nine teams in the "new" Big East are: Georgetown, DePaul, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall, Villanova, Creighton and Xavier.
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