The Butler basketball team is in Lexington, Kentucky preparing for their appearance in the NCAA Tournament but there is big news about the Bulldogs’ athletic future. Athletic Director Barry Collier and President James Danko were in New York City for an announcement about the Bulldogs officially joining the Big East Conference.
Xavier and Creighton join Butler as the three schools in today’s announcement. Seven original members of the Big East officially announced their intentions to start this new league last week.
“Of course we’re focused on now (NCAA Tournament) but a situation like this, you can’t help but pay attention to it, because three different conferences in four years, its pretty unheard of,” said junior Khyle Marshall. “We’re excited to play in this new league, but we’re definitely focused on right now and playing in this tournament.”
Sophomore forward Kameron Woods echoed the words from Marshall.
“It’s definitely a big move, exciting, it’s a great move for our program and everything, but right now my focus is all on this NCAA tournament and trying to send these seniors out the right way,” said Woods.
The success of Butler under head coach Brad Stevens is a big reason the Big East invited Butler. The head coach has been a part of the process over the last few months, but admitted that Danko and Collier were the primary decision-makers.
“Both of my superiors, Barry and Jim Danko have really just run with it, they’ve asked me my opinion all along the way. The thing that we’ve talked about in the last three weeks is I just want to coach this team. Those guys (Collier and Danko) are terrific leaders, they make great decisions and they’ve been great at letting me just coach the team. I haven’t talked to either of them about it other than Barry real briefly this week, at all.”
Stevens only focus right now is on getting the Bulldogs prepared for Bucknell. Meanwhile, the Butler fans have to feel like this week has already been a victory for the Bulldog program that continues to move up the NCAA ladder.
The Big East post-season tournament will be played at Madison Square Garden in New York City through the 2025-26 season.