(Edited from ESPN) Big East commissioner Mike Aresco said Thursday there have been no discussions yet about letting Notre Dame out of the league to join the ACC before the required 27-month waiting period.
"They may make that request and then we'd have to negotiate with them because they are required to stay for two more seasons. If they do, we'll engage them in a negotiation. I can't tell you much more than that," Aresco said Thursday before the Rutgers-South Florida football game, his first public comments since Notre Dame took all sports but football to the ACC.
Pitt, Syracuse and West Virginia all were able to negotiate early departures from the Big East when they decided to make moves to different conferences. West Virginia paid $20 million to go to the Big 12; Pitt and Syracuse each will pay $7.5 million to join the ACC in 2013.
"I really don't want to comment much on that," Aresco said when asked about the possibility of letting Notre Dame out early. "There is a precedent for that. We'll maintain a good relationship with Notre Dame. We've been very magnanimous. That's the way we should be. We wish Notre Dame well. We'll talk to them. We may be able to figure something out. We may not. We just don't know yet."
"When you lose a team, there's always some comment and that's fine. We know we have a strong future, and we also know we've reconstituted our football and we've added some outstanding teams. The old Big East in football was a very good conference, but it didn't have a Boise, which has a national appeal, it didn't have range, it didn't have the Texas schools. We have a bright outlook, and I'm going to make that point. What we don't want to do is let a narrative take over that might simply be inaccurate. It is simply inaccurate."
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