A-10 commissioner explains exit fees

Butler and Xavier have not notified the Atlantic 10 that they plan to leave the conference to join the "new" Big East, A-10 commissioner Bernadette McGlade said Saturday.

"No, as of today all of our members remain full members of the Atlantic 10 and no one has given a notice of withdrawal," McGlade told ESPN.com before Butler faced VCU in Richmond, Va.

Butler and Xavier plan to join the Big East's seven departing Catholic schools when they start their own league next season, sources told ESPN this week. The new league will keep the Big East Conference name, sources said.

Butler coach Brad Stevens declined to address the school's plans after falling to VCU 84-52, his worst loss in six seasons as a head coach.

"I'm in the A-10 and I'm not commenting on anything else other than I'm in the A-10," Stevens said. "It's a heck of a league. It's been an unbelievable experience and we've got to get ourselves ready for UMass."

Schools face a $2 million fee to exit the A-10 with less than a year's notice.

"What I know is the normal withdrawal from their league is 27 months, but common sense tells you know that there would be acceleration," McGlade said.

"Our philosophy with our exit fees is not so much to prevent teams from leaving. Institutions have the right to make those decisions. But anytime there is change, it's tremendously expensive. All the branding, everything you see, has to be changed and thrown into the trash can. Notice is important because notice allows for the process of transition. Less than a year, it's harder to adjust, so that's when the exit fee is doubled."

Fox Sports Network is expected to announce the addition of the Catholic 7/Big East basketball league Tuesday in New York as part of the network's news conference announcing the addition of Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 channels.

Fox Sports Network's deal with the Catholic 7 is expected to be worth at least $3 million annually per school, sources said.

"Fox supposedly is going to put together a package worth a lot of money for a brand new Division I league," McGlade said. "That's a hard thing to combat."

Xavier has been a member of the Atlantic 10 since 1995, while Butler just joined from the Horizon League before this season, along with VCU, to bring the total of full members to 16.

The A-10 already faces the departures of Temple to the Big East and Charlotte to Conference USA this summer.

"Fourteen is a big conference," for the Atlantic 10 after Temple and Charlotte leave, McGlade said. "Part of our plan was to be a large and strong conference but there is no golden number. Is 16 the perfect number? Or 14 or 12?"

McGlade wouldn't say whether she expects Xavier and Butler to leave.

"All I know is the facts that are here today," she said. "It's important to not let specultation about what may or may not happen in the future ruin what's happening right now."

McGlade also declined to comment on whether other schools have made overtures to join the Atlantic 10.

ESPN.com college basketball reporter Dana O'Neil and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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