Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Notre Dame To Join ACC ‘Cuase Indiana Has Moved Closer To The Atlantic

According to the AP, ESPN and others, in yet another amazing geographic shift, Notre Dame will join the Atlantic Coast Conference as a full member with the exception of football, but will play five football games annually against ACC teams.

"We have monitored the changing conference landscape for many months and have concluded that moving to the ACC is the best course of action for us," said Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame vice president and director of athletics, in a statement released by the conference. "We are able to maintain our historic independence in football, join in the ACC's non-BCS bowl package, and provide a new and extremely competitive home for our other sports."

The ACC does not offer hockey, so it is presumed that Notre Dame will go through with its planned move to Hockey East in that sport.

The Irish will join the ACC as soon as it can exit the Big East. The Big East currently requires members to provide 27 months notice to exit although West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse were able to leave earlier by paying a higher exit fee.

Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey texted ESPN.com's Andy Katz, saying "we're going," and adding that while no timetable has been established for the move, he is excited for the challenge.

Notre Dame joins Syracuse and Pittsburgh in bolting the Big East for the ACC. In February, the conference announced divisions for a 14-team basketball league, but it will now have to accomodate a 15th team.

"The ACC was founded on the cornerstones of balancing academics, athletics and integrity," said ACC commissioner John Swofford in the statement. " Our partnership with Notre Dame only strengthens this long-standing commitment."

The commitment to five ACC games in football will likely mean some changes for the Irish's football schedule. They already play ACC team's Boston College and Wake Forest and have renewed their rivalry with Miami this season. Pittsburgh is on the schedule this season as a Big East team but is moving to the ACC.

USC, Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue and Stanford have been schedule mainstays recently. Navy, Notre Dame's opponent in Dublin, Ireland, this year, is a traditional game.

Along with inviting Notre Dame, the ACC also says it has increased its exit fees for the conference's schools to three times the annual operation budget -- which would currently come to more than $50 million.

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