Butler University will begin competition in the Atlantic 10 Conference in the fall of 2012, a year ahead of schedule, Athletic Director Barry Collier announced today. Earlier this month, Butler announced that it would leave the Horizon League after 2012-13 to join the A-10, but an accelerated timetable was made possible by both leagues.

“We are grateful to the Atlantic 10 for welcoming us into the fold a year ahead of schedule,” Collier said. “Since announcing our intention to depart after 2012-13, Butler and the Horizon League have discussed the terms for next season. Ultimately, it was in our best interest to reach an agreement with the Horizon League for immediate departure.”

Butler will begin Atlantic 10 competition in men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball and men’s and women’s cross country this fall. The Bulldogs will compete in men’s and women’s basketball, women’s swimming, and men’s and women’s indoor track and field during the 2012-13 A-10 winter season, before concluding their inaugural year in the spring with league play in baseball, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s golf, and men’s and women’s outdoor track and field.

The Atlantic 10 will compete as a 16-team league in 2012-13. In addition to Butler, the league includes first-year member VCU, Charlotte, Dayton, Duquesne, Fordham, George Washington, La Salle, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Richmond, St. Bonaventure, Saint Joseph’s, Saint Louis, Temple and Xavier.

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