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Big East split could put Irish in bind

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame's athletic director said the recently announced split between the Big East and seven schools that don't play major college football could complicate the Fighting Irish's exit from the conference.

"Those two parties have to divide assets," Jack Swarbrick told reporters Monday. "It poses a question about who you're even talking to. Who is the Big East? Which of the two sides of that has the Big East name and rights, and who might lay claim to the Notre Dame affiliation going forward? It's an interesting dynamic to try and figure out where all that's headed. One of the real challenges we have right now is trying to assess when that might settle out."

Notre Dame announced in September it is leaving to join the Atlantic Coast Conference, though its football program will remain independent.

Big East bylaws require 27 months' notice from departing members, which would put Notre Dame's arrival in the ACC at 2015. The Irish would like to get out sooner and the Big East has been willing to discuss an early exit.

Swarbrick said that Notre Dame, like the seven Catholic schools, is not on the hook to pay an exit fee to the Big East. He said Big East rules that allow groups of schools to leave without financial penalty apply to the Fighting Irish. But an early exit might require compensation.

In other Notre Dame news, nose guard Louis Nix III and offensive tackle Zack Martin said they will return to school next year and skip the NFL draft.

COACH INTRODUCED: Ron Caragher was introduced as coach at San Jose State. He has family in nearby Morgan Hill and plans to be in the area before flying out to watch the Spartans in the Military Bowl in Washington, D.C., two days later. "This is a homecoming for me," he said. "I used to attend Spartan camps in the summer and as a high school player I watched games and played in games at Spartan Stadium."

LOU HOLTZ HONORED: Longtime former college football coach and ESPN broadcaster Lou Holtz received an honorary doctorate of education as featured speaker at the University of South Carolina's commencement ceremonies. Holtz coached the Gamecocks from 1999-2004.

PLAYER TOSSED FOR TWEET: The University of North Alabama said walk-on Bradley Patterson is off the team after sending a racist tweet about President Barack Obama. The third-string long snapper used a racial slur while complaining that the president's speech about the Connecticut school massacre pre-empted an NFL game Sunday night.

CAL DAVIS: Former California running game coordinator Ron Gould was hired as head coach. Gould, 47, will replace Bob Biggs, who retired after the season.

CINCINNATI: The NCAA granted senior quarterback Brendon Kay an extra season of eligibility, giving the Bearcats a proven passer heading into their first year under coach Tommy Tuberville.

N.C. STATE: New coach Dave Doeren hired Wisconsin assistant Eddie Faulkner to coach tight ends and fullback and serve as special teams coordinator.

WEST VIRGINIA: Record-setting receiver Stedman Bailey will forgo his senior year and enter the NFL draft.

Big East split could put Irish in bind 12/17/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 12:05am]

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