NCAA BK

A-10: No schools have said they are leaving

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP)

The Atlantic 10 Conference remains intact for now.

''As of today, all of our members are A-10 members,'' Commissioner Bernadette McGlade said Saturday, shortly before the tipoff of VCU's 84-52 victory against No. 20 Butler. ''We've had no one who's given us any notice of withdrawal.''

That doesn't mean she's assured that no such notices are coming. Butler and Xavier have been reported to be targets of the seven basketball seven Catholic schools that a breaking away from the current Big East to form their own league.

After his worst loss in six seasons as a head coach, Butler's Brad Stevens declined to address on the school's plans.

''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.''

The catholic school's announcement came Dec. 15, and ''I think every commissioner in the country does the math and says they have seven so they're going to have to have some additional Division I schools,'' McGlade said.

The football school and basketball schools in the Big East are negotiating a divorce that could have the basketball-focused conference up and running by next season, playing under the Big East name.

McGlade, whose league plucked Butler from the Horizon League and VCU from the Colonial Athletic Association after last season, said rampant realignment taking place in college athletics has forced every commissioner to be vigilant in attending to member institution's needs, but even that is often not enough.

''If there are going to be realignment impacts that would affect the league, then we have to be ready to make the next-best decision. That's my job, to make sure that the A-10 stays as strong as possible,'' Clade said. ''I feel like it's been my daily work for the last 28 months, to be honest with you.''

''Every institution is going to have to make the best decision for their institution as it relates to what conference they align with and affiliate with,'' she said.

For now, McGlade said she hopes to enjoy the rest of what has been a good season for the A-10.

''We're a week out from the championship up in New York, we're having a historically successful year and I think it's important to not get so distracted by what's going to happen in the future and celebrate these kids and these coaches and the type of success that's going on right now,'' she said. ''And then, whatever happens in the future, I feel confident that the A-10's going to be in a strong position.''

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