Notre Dame to join ACC July 1

After swift and straightforward negotiations, Notre Dame finalized its exit from the Big East on Tuesday, announcing it will join the ACC on July 1 and begin competing with Florida State, Miami and the rest next season.

Last month it appeared Notre Dame would stay in the Big East with USF for one more season.

"It's a great new challenge," said Irish basketball coach Mike Brey, a former Duke assistant. "I'm excited to be back on some familiar ground. It's been a distraction.''

Clarity and relief were prime benefits cited Tuesday. The move is a boon for just about every Irish program, from the higher-profile basketball teams to soccer, baseball and lacrosse. For nearly all, the ACC represents a heightened level of competition.

"In so many ways, it's optimal for us," Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said. "You're talking about the best lacrosse, the best women's soccer, pretty remarkable basketball now with Syracuse, Pitt and Notre Dame all coming in, the best women's basketball without question. The list goes on."

The move comes six months after Notre Dame announced it would join the ACC in all sports except football and hockey. Notre Dame's exit for all intents paralleled the Catholic 7's split Friday from the current Big East, according to reports. The Irish paid no exit fee, per se, but agreed to claim a relatively small share of the Big East's cash reserves— reportedly $1 million — while the football schools retained the bulk of that pool.

The Irish basketball teams land in the ACC with Syracuse and Pittsburgh — with Louisville joining in 2014-15 — which prompted commissioner John Swofford to say "the competition will be brutal, which is a great thing for our league and fans."

Notre Dame to join ACC July 1 03/12/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 11:57pm]

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