Thursday, June 21, 2018
Colleges

Notre Dame to join ACC for all sports except football

NEW YORK — Just when it seemed the Big East had plugged all its holes, Notre Dame created another.

The Irish are moving to the ACC with a similar deal to the one they had with the Big East: all sports except football.

Notre Dame will play five games annually against ACC schools while having access to its non-BCS bowl tie-ins.

"I don't think there's out there a better situation than the situation we have," said the Rev. John Jenkins, Notre Dame's president. "The ACC has allowed us to retain a tradition (of independence) that's so central to our identity in football while we're joining a conference that athletically as well as academically fits … perfectly."

The ACC also announced it increased its exit fees for schools to three times the league's annual operation budget, which would currently be about $50 million.

The fee increase will quell speculation that Florida State might leave the ACC for the Big 12, FSU basketball coach Leonard Hamilton said. In May, Andy Hag­gard, chairman of FSU's board of trustees, and football coach Jimbo Fisher discussed the positives of moving to the Big 12.

"More than anything else, what it says is that all 15 teams are committed to band together and move forward and make something even more special out of the ACC conference," Hamilton said.

The ACC previously lured Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech from the Big East and adds Pittsburgh and Syracuse from it in 2013. It and other leagues had talks with Notre Dame over the years. But the ACC relaxed its all-or-nothing requirement.

"I think it just came through in our internal discussions that now's the time," ACC commissioner John Swofford said.

Notre Dame will not get revenue from the ACC's recently signed deal with ESPN worth $3.6 billion over 15 years. Swofford said the ACC will renegotiate it to account for Notre Dame.

The Big East, which currently has a deal with Notre Dame for its bowl tie-ins, has a 27-month notification period and $5 million exit fee. Swofford said the departure date will be handled by it and the Big East. It won't be until 2015-16, Irish AD Jack Swarbrick said, unless the sides agree to an earlier exit. Multiple reports said the move isn't expected until at least 2014. Pitt and Syracuse paid about $7.5 million to get out early.

"We wish (Notre Dame) success in the future," Big East commissioner Mike Aresco said. "However, Notre Dame's departure does not change our plans. We have prestigious institutions that are excited to be a part of the Big East."

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