VCU, Mason and Butler to the A10?

Rumors spread when an October New York Times article reported ”the Atlantic 10 had expressed informal interest in adding CAA members George Mason and Virginia Commonwealth”, but have really began to heat up since a leaked letter from Duquesne President Charles J. Dougherty to the University’s board members stated, “The A10 conference itself is on the verge of a major improvement with the addition of new high quality university programs.”

This afternoon those rumors got a lot scarier for CAA commissioner Tom Yaeger with CBSSports.com’s Brett McMurphy reporting, “VCU, George Mason and Butler have had discussions with the Atlantic 10 and indicated to the league they have potential interest in joining for the 2013-14 school year”.

McMurphy’s sources also added that ,”VCU’s Board of Visitors already has had at least two meetings about making the move”.

Read the CBSSports.com full article here: http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/blog/brett-mcmurphy/18045227/vcu-george-mason-butler-in-discussions-to-join-atlantic-10

The additions of VCU, George Mason and Butler would more than make up for the A10′s departure of Temple to the Big East, adding three teams that combined for four Final 4 appearances since 2006. VCU and Butler also have two of the hottest young coaches in the country in Shaka Smart and Brad Stevens, both of which have been targets of BCS schools this offseason.

The Atlantic 10 finished this season with the seventh highest conference RPI, ahead of the Missouri Valley, CUSA, and Pac-12 conferences, and finished eights spots ahead of the CAA who had a down year at fifteenth.

The CAA had a strong 2011, getting three teams into the NCAA tournament for the first time ever, a number that fell back to one this year as VCU advanced as the conference’s only NCAA tournament representative. The Atlantic 10 sent four teams to this year’s tournament, have sent at least three teams the past five season, and hold a 61-24 edge over the CAA over the past 20 years.

About Mat Shelton

VCU School of the Arts (BFA '07) and Center for Sport Leadership (M.Ed. '10) alumnus, Mat has followed VCU basketball since the Sunbelt days when he'd attend games with his father. Worked as a graduate assistant in the VCU Sports Information Department for the '09-'10 season, but has covered VCU basketball for VCURamNation.com since 2007. mshelton@vcuramnation.com @MatShelton