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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."

Conference shuffling

The basketball lineup when Notre Dame leaves the Big East for the ACC, which has not been determined. Unlike football, both plan to have one division:

ACC

Boston College

Clemson

Duke

Florida State

Georgia Tech

Maryland

Miami

North Carolina

N.C. State

Notre Dame

Pittsburgh

Syracuse

Virginia

Virginia Tech

Wake Forest

BIG EAST

Cincinnati

Connecticut

DePaul

Georgetown

Houston

Louisville

Marquette

Memphis

Providence

Rutgers

St. John's

Seton Hall

SMU

Temple

UCF

USF

Villanova

Note: Boise State (joining in 2013), Navy (2015) and San Diego State (2013) will be football-only members.

Key points to the agreement

. Notre Dame will remain independent in football, meaning it can keep all the money from its contract with NBC. The school has not disclosed how much that is.

>> Notre Dame, which has no bowl affiliation the next two seasons if it does not qualify for the BCS, will have access to the ACC's non-BCS bowls. The bowls cannot select Notre Dame over an ACC team unless the Irish are ranked higher in the BCS standings or are within one victory of that ACC team.

>> Notre Dame will play five football games annually against ACC teams, playing each team every three years. It will mean an end to annual games with Pittsburgh and Boston College.

>> ACC commissioner John Swofford says the league has no intention of adding a 16th member.

>> The ACC increased its exit fees for league schools to about $50 million, about three times the annual operation budget.

Notre Dame to join ACC for all sports except football 09/12/12 [Last modified: Thursday, September 13, 2012 12:34am]
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