NCAA

Butler may consider joining 'Catholic 7'

Butler may consider joining 'Catholic 7'

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Butler President James Danko is not changing his mind.

Two days after telling The Associated Press he wouldn't completely rule out the possibility of joining a new conference, Danko issued a statement that will likely keep the conference realignment talk buzzing.

``Our administrators, our coaches, our trustees and our team will continue to do what is right for Butler and its students,'' he said. ``Decisions will be made, first and foremost, with the university's strong values and the Butler Way at heart. Our uncompromising commitments to integrity, to placing one's team above oneself, and to the academic and personal growth of each of our student-athletes will remain paramount.''

In other words, the school is keeping its options open.

When word leaked last week that seven Catholic schools in the Big East were looking to leave the conference and form their own league, Butler was one of the first names to pop up as a possible new member. Since then, the parties involved have done nothing to dissuade such talk.

An Atlantic 10 spokesman said the league would not immediately respond to the reports, and Butler athletic director Barry Collier has declined to comment on any potential move. During the second half of Butler's 88-86 upset of No. 1 Indiana on Saturday, Danko was asked whether he would completely rule out the speculation.

``I'd rather not talk about it until something happens,'' he told The AP.

Something has already happened - regardless of what role Butler could play.

On Saturday, Villanova, Georgetown, St. John's, DePaul, Marquette, Providence and Seton Hall decided to officially separate from the Big East and construct a basketball-centric league.

Whether the Bulldogs will be involved in this next round of realignment remains unclear.

Some reports have indicated Xavier and Butler, both of the Atlantic 10, are two schools the ``Catholic 7'' would like to include in a 10- or 12-team league, even though Butler is not a Catholic institution and would likely be one of the smaller schools in the new conference.

What Butler does have, though, is a national reputation as a strong basketball school, a city with an NBA arena that could host the conference tourney and a television market in a basketball-crazed state that could be an attractive option for a network. Local officials have said they have had no contact with the Catholic schools about playing the league tourney in Indy, which already has a deal to host the Big Ten men's and women's tournaments in even-numbered years through 2016.

The Bulldogs (8-2) have been to two of the last three national championship games, upset a No. 1 team for the first time in school history Saturday and debuted at No. 19 in this week's Top 25.

``The fact that Butler is now being mentioned prominently as a potential candidate to join the `Catholic 7' universities in a new athletic league, is a tribute to the success of our athletic program overall and our men's basketball team, in particular,'' Danko said. ``Our team has proven consistently and continuously that it is one of the very best in the nation, and that they are one of the biggest brands in men's college basketball. This national prestige naturally leads to speculation about Butler's athletic future.''

Wherever that future lies.

Some alums and faculty members were unhappy when the Bulldogs announced in May they were leaving their longtime conference home, the Horizon League, for the Atlantic 10. The move was not expected to take place until 2013-14, but officials from Butler and both leagues later announced the move would be expedited and that the Bulldogs would begin Atlantic 10 play this fall. Butler will make its league debut Jan. 9 at St. Joseph's.

Two more Georgetown players transfer out of program as Hoyas remain in turmoil

patrick_ewing_usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports Images

Two more Georgetown players transfer out of program as Hoyas remain in turmoil

Freshman Myron Gardner and junior Galen Alexander are the latest players transferring away from Georgetown. 

Gardner and Alexander are the two other Hoyas, along with former Georgetown player Josh LeBlanc, who received restraining orders from a Georgetown student back in September. The restraining orders stemmed from an incident involving sexual assault, harassment and a subsequent burglary.

Alexander, who also played at Jones County Junior College and LSU, announced his decision on Twiter. In the announcement, he criticized the university for their handling of the incident and lack of support. He also professed his innocence of the allegations he is facing. 

"I have been publically shamed, threatened, and criminalized. I have been falsely accused and targeted by the media and my peers of crimes I did not commit. My character has been defamed and that needs to be cleared up more anything else. Very soon it will come to light that I am innocent and had nothing to do with the false allegations," Alexander wrote.

"In light of the situation, the University has allowed me to become a target and subjected to unfair treatment, with little or no support."

Playing in all nine games this season, Alexander averaged 4.2 points and 2.7 rebounds a game in just over 12 minutes a contest. This included considerable playing time in their wins over Oklahoma State and SMU after the allegations were made public. 

This is not the first time controversy has followed Alexander. While at LSU he only played in 9 games before being dismissed by coach Will Wade for disciplinary reasons.

Gardner told the Washington Post of his decision just hours before Alexander's announcement.  He will enter the transfer portal after scoring 25 points through eight games in his first collegiate season. 

As a result of these transfers, the Hoyas have seen four players leave their program in 11 days. LeBlanc and James Akinjo, who was not a part of the initial incident, announced their intent to transfer back on Dec. 2.

Only nine scholarship players remain on the Georgetown roster with over two-thirds of the season remaining.

Already the team was facing an identity issue for the allegations of their players. While all the players are now removed from the program, it is clear they were upset with how the university handled the situation. Either way, it is a bad look. 

In the aftermath of the complaints, Georgetown lost a high-value transfer from D.C. 

MORE NCAA NEWS: 

Quick Links

Impossibly, the Orioles have lost a game more recently than the Ravens

Impossibly, the Orioles have lost a game more recently than the Ravens

Hard to believe, right?

Somehow, some way, the Baltimore Orioles have lost a game more recently than their football neighbors.

As a reminder, the Orioles season ended on *September 29*. They lost their regular season finale to the Red Sox that afternoon.

The Ravens’ last loss also came on September 29, though it came earlier in the afternoon.

It’s hard to fathom an NFL team winning for two-and-a-half straight months. 10 consecutive wins in that span is in the top-60 longest winnings streaks in NFL history, a sign of just how rare and impressive this Ravens stretch has been. 

It won’t be easy for Baltimore to maintain their play all the way through to the Super Bowl. If they do, however, they’ll have a chance to go almost an entire calendar year until their next loss.

Unfortunately, there will probably be a whole lot more Orioles losses in that span.

MORE RAVENS NEWS: