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Notre Dame will leave Big East, follow Syracuse and Pittsburgh to ACC

Sep 12, 2012, 10:06 AM EDT


Notre Dame has accepted an invitation from the ACC to join the conference in all sports with the exception of football, the league announced Wednesday.

In football, the Irish will now play five games per season against ACC schools.

“We are committed to keeping the Atlantic Coast Conference a vibrant and competitive league dedicated to ensuring the appropriate balance of academics, athletics and integrity,” the ACC Council of Presidents said in a joint statement released at 10 a.m. “The addition of Notre Dame further strengthens the rich tradition and culture of the ACC as well as allowing for future academic collaboration and we enthusiastically welcome them into the league.”

Rumors had been circulating about a possible Notre Dame move to the ACC, culminating in Wednesday’s announcement.

“The ACC was founded on the cornerstones of balancing academics, athletics and integrity,” Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford said in the release. “Our partnership with Notre Dame only strengthens this long-standing commitment. Notre Dame enhances the league’s unique blend of public and private institutions that are international in scope.

“The collective alumni and fan bases cover the entire country with exceptionally strong roots up and down the Atlantic Coast. This is a terrific milestone in the evolution of the ACC and showcases tremendous solidarity and vision by our Council of Presidents.”

This move marks the next step in the mass exodus of schools from the Big East to the ACC, with Notre Dame following Pittsburgh and Syracuse out the door.

New Big East commissioner Mike Aresco has been on the job for just under a month and now sees another major basketball program depart.

The move gains importance with one other fact: The Big East is preparing to begin negotiations on a new television deal, which was a major reason Aresco, a former TV executive at CBS, was hired as commissioner.

In addition to adding Notre Dame to the league, the ACC also raised its exit fee to $50 million, a move to secure its assets and prevent schools from defecting from the conference.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

  1. tomtravis76 - Sep 12, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    ACC should realign its divisions:

    1. UNC, NC State, Duke, Wake, Clemson, Maryland, Georgia Tech, UVA

    2. Syracuse, Pitt, Miami, Notre Dame, BC, VA Tech, FSU

    They need one more school to make it 16…UConn, Rutgers?

    • thebadguyswon - Sep 12, 2012 at 10:42 PM

      UConn would be awesome.

  2. longtallsam - Sep 12, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    Aww…just put the private schools in one division and the public schools in the other! :)

    I’m not really wild about ND football getting all this preferential treatment, but requiring them to schedule at least five ACC schools each year is better than any other conference has done with their ND affiliation. Hopefully, the conference will schedule those games with ND, as with the rest of the conference schedule? Surely, ND won’t get to choose which ACC schools they want to play.

  3. florida727 - Sep 12, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    Kind of a weird I-want-to-have-my-cake-and-eat-it-too scenario with Notre Dame. They NEED to be in a conference for all sports except football, but they refuse to share the cash cow that is football with anyone else. Part of me says, hey, good for them. The other part says, hey, screw you, you’re either in our conference or you’re not, make up your freaking mind.

    In any event, not a fan of theirs but wish them luck just the same. Feel bad for Aresco. Wonder if he really knew what he was stepping into. TV exec experience or not, he’s climbing Everest without a sherpa.

    BTW, “long…”, I read another article that said the 5 games ND plays against ACC schools will be rotated, meaning that every ACC school is assured of playing Notre Dame once every 3 years. If they round off at 16 teams, that’ll exactly work out, if my math is correct. Unfortunately, it also means that each school will only play Notre Dame at HOME once every SIX years.

  4. gregorian99 - Sep 12, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    Wow. I had no idea this was going on. I’m not happy that my conference has invited a school that gets preferential treatment (football/NCAA/NBC/BCS). NCAA should require a school to go all-in or nothing. If you want to join our conference, then include football and all other sports. Kudos to the B1G for insisting on this very thing. Go Tarheels!

  5. buckeyeluvn - Sep 12, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    Still scared to play in the B1G Ten. They dont want to play 3rd fiddle to OSU and Michigan.

  6. klownboy - Sep 13, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    This is a great move for the ACC in both football and basketball. FSU should shut it’s yap about moving now…

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