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  • Notre Dame to join Atlantic Coast Conference; football stays independent

    by SEE

    Official Release

    The University of Notre Dame accepted an invitation today (Sept. 12) to become a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) in all sports except football.

    Most Notre Dame athletics programs have been members of the Big East Conference since 1995 after previously competing in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference, North Star Conference and as independents. Jack Swarbrick, vice president and director of athletics at Notre Dame, said the University will work with the Big East and ACC on a timetable to transfer athletic membership.

    “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,” Swarbrick said. “This will enable us 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.

    “We are immensely grateful to the members of the Big East, which has been a wonderful home for us the past 17 years. We also think that the conference has a strong future under the leadership of its new commissioner, Mike Aresco.”

    “The ACC was founded on the cornerstones of balancing academics, athletics and integrity,” said Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford. “Our partnership with Notre Dame only strengthens this long-standing commitment. Notre Dame enhances the league’s unique blend of public and private institutions that are international in scope. The collective alumni and fan bases cover the entire country with exceptionally strong roots up and down the Atlantic Coast. This is a terrific milestone in the evolution of the ACC and showcases tremendous solidarity and vision by our Council of Presidents.”

    In addition to the athletic component, Notre Dame’s president, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., said the ACC offers other advantages.

    “The ACC is composed of some of the most highly respected universities in the country, and we at Notre Dame look forward to joining them,” Father Jenkins said. “With a mix of institutions – many of which are also private, similar to Notre Dame in size, and committed to excellence in research and undergraduate education – the ACC is an exceptionally good fit for us academically, as well as athletically.”

    Father Jenkins added: “It is our hope that, over time, we will be able to explore the possibility of academic collaboration as well as athletic competition with these outstanding universities.”

    “We are committed to keeping the Atlantic Coast Conference a vibrant and competitive league dedicated to ensuring the appropriate balance of academics, athletics and integrity,” the ACC Council of Presidents said in a joint statement. “The addition of Notre Dame further strengthens the rich tradition and culture of the ACC as well as allowing for future academic collaboration and we enthusiastically welcome them into the league.”

    As part of the partnership with the ACC, Notre Dame has agreed to annually play five ACC opponents in football and each conference member at least once every three years.

    “This approach allows us to help promote ACC football while maintaining our traditional rivalries and a national schedule,” said Swarbrick, who added that Notre Dame will be a part of the ACC’s non-BCS bowl package.

    The move to the ACC does not affect Notre Dame’s longstanding partnership with NBC Sports. The change in affiliation is “essentially revenue neutral,” Swarbrick said. “Financial implications were not a motivation.”

    Current ACC members are Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. Pittsburgh and Syracuse will join the ACC on July 1, 2013.

    Among the 12 current ACC institutions, seven rank among the top 38 universities in the U.S. News & World Report survey “America’s Best Colleges” and five are members of the Association of American Universities.

    ACC institutions are located in four of the top 10 most populated metropolitan areas in the country and, once Pittsburgh and Syracuse become members, will be in nine states up and down the eastern third of the United States.

    Since the conference’s inception in 1953, ACC schools have captured 127 NCAA championships, including 67 in women’s competition and 60 in men’s. In addition, NCAA individual titles have gone to ACC student-athletes 145 times in men’s competition and 104 times in women’s action. Four conference schools won NCAA championships in 2011-12, and two finished in the top 10 in last year’s Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings.

    The Notre Dame football team is among the most storied in college sports, with 11 consensus national championships, seven Heisman Trophy winners, and more All-Americans and Hall of Famers than any other program in the country.

    Notre Dame’s NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) figure for all student-athletes has ranked No. 1 among FBS institutions each of the last four years, and the Irish football team’s GSR has ranked No. 1 for three straight years.

    Within the Big East Conference, Notre Dame has won 116 titles, more than any other school since the University’s entry in 1995-96, including 14 in women’s swimming and diving, 11 in women’s soccer, 11 in women’s tennis, nine in rowing, nine in volleyball, eight in men’s golf, and eight in men’s outdoor track and field.

    Nationally, the Irish women’s soccer team and combined fencing teams won national championships in the 2010-11 academic year, the women’s basketball team has played for the national title the last two years, men’s basketball has earned three consecutive NCAA Tournament berths, and the men’s lacrosse team has played in the final four in two of the last three years.

    The Notre Dame hockey team will move to Hockey East after a final season in 2012-13 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

    18 Responses to “Notre Dame to join Atlantic Coast Conference; football stays independent”

    1. irishhawk50 says:

      I guess we can live with 5 ACC games a year. ND already plays BC and Pitt on a regular basis and has played GT, Miami, NC, Syracuse, Florida State fairly often. This leaves 7 games which will probably be USC, Navy, Purdue, Stanford, Michigan and Michigan State and an occasional Army, Air Force, BYU, or Texas game. Probably does away with the Rice, Mass, Temple type games. I always liked that ND would play a bunch of different colleges each year. I will miss that.

      • What are you talking about? ND remains independent w/respect to football so this move won’t affect our football scheduling at all. It does however mean that when we do join the ACC we can check off four BBall games each year in the loss column – Duke and North Carolina.

        • Terry, did you miss this part?:
          “As part of the partnership with the ACC, Notre Dame has agreed to annually play five ACC opponents in football and each conference member at least once every three years.”
          And don’t chalk up 4 losses in basketball every year just yet. We have beaten top ranked bball teams both at home and on the road multiple times in the last few years.

      • Dont worry you will still get that. The ACC has 14 different schools. The schedule does not change much year to year as it is. Dont forget, the Big Ten (namely Michigan) is looking to drop ND when they go to 9 conference games. Good riddance.

    2. Based on the circumstances, this is a best case scenario. Swarbrick should get alot of credit on this.

      1) We maintain football independence and avoid regionalizing ourselves…which was the goal of many alumni.
      2) We improve the conference for our most competitive non-football teams (Basketball, Lacrosse, Soccer, Baseball) as well as improve recruiting pitches for some of our developing sports (tennis, golf, swimming, track/cross country).
      3) We don’t have to join the Big10 which probably is driving them crazy. They refused to budge and they lost out on us. Jim Delaney is flipping out right now.
      4) We’ve maintained our seat at the BCS negotiating table. And if for some reason we lose our spot, we have easy entrance to the ACC.

      There are pretty much no complaints you can have about this.

    3. Great move! Swarbrick just straight gets stuff done.

    4. Great Move! The Big East is a mess and have become so desperate they are taking historically mediocre schools from all over the country. While the Big 10 made the most geographic sense they weren’t going to agree to let us keep our football independence. The Big 12 really didn’t make a lot of sense either from a football perspective as those schools have never really been rivals of ours in anything. However the ACC has natural rivals of ours including, FSU, Miami, BC and soon to be added Pittsburgh. Couple that with some new ones with Virginia Tech and Clemson and I think they can have a nice schedule and still play a combination of USC, Michigan, Navy, Mich St, Purdue, and Stanford. I would alternate Michigan and Michigan State every other year. Keep Navy and USC every year with Stanford and Purdue most years. This will still allow them to pick up an SEC/Big12 opponent for their Shamrock Series going forward.

    5. great move by ND and Jack Swarbrick. The ACC is a most logical fit for Notre Dame as an institution and for all its Olympic sports. ND needed to leave the Big East and needed to maintain its football independence. Two for two.

    6. Rjbjr Irish says:

      I think 5 games a year is too many; should have gone for 7 every two years.

      • At 7 ACC games every 2 years…the ACC would have never agreed to that. No this was ultimately the right move. Keeping the degree of independence we have today would have been increasingly more difficult as time went on.

        Plus the 5 games per year really does help with football recruiting since now kids from the Southeast and Atlantic coast will find ND more attractive knowing that they’ll be playing in the region more often.

    7. I would have much preferred the Big Ten, but this move is better than staying in the imploding Big East.

    8. irishhawk50 says:

      I agree that ND basically had their hand forced and this is a very good fall back position. I know that football is the tail that wags the dog, but this is also good for the non-football sports. It makes academic and geographic sense and I agree with other posters ND probably had to accept the 5 ACC football deal. I don’t know what the Big 10 will do now vis a vis their teams scheduling ND. I think they tried to put pressure on ND by hinting at scheduling problems in the hope of forcing ND’s hand. It did, in a sense, but not what the Big 10 were hoping for. I would still like to see ND play Michigan and/or Michigan State fairly regularly. Purdue I can live without, but since it is a traditional in-state rival they may remain on the schedule. I know the story about the relationship with Navy, but I would like to see ND rotate the service academies, a different one each year.

    9. Older Domer says:

      The $50 million fee for leaving the ACC is to keep ND in if the four super-conferences ever happen. Who else has half that cash? It saves the ACC.

      The Big East is toast. I’d bet that Saint John’s, Villanova and Georgetown, have all called the ACC to see if they would take another non-football member to make it a 16 team non-football conference. The basketball match-ups will benefit ND season ticket sales big time. That doesn’t mean those folks will show up all the time, but their money will still be banked. The business guys, and girls need to have a more efficient way of identifing empty seats and letting people move down and also letting people into a half full areana at some point into the game. It is called scalping. It actually helps everyone, the ticket holder, the poor fan, and especially the team.

      Now, tighten the gaps, show the run, and beat State. “Kill Buba Kill”!

    10. Great move I live in SC and now will be able to see the Irish more as they will be playing more game in the south east!

    11. ND’s move to the ACC is probably going to cost them the game at Mich State this Saturday. Big East officials will be on the field and they are not going to take this move very kindly. We can look forward to offensive holding calls on ND whenever ND makes a big play and conversely, if won’t take Mich State’s offensive line long to learn that the Big East officials won’t be calling them for holding. Same goes for pass interference. Of course the officials will call holding on Mich State if ND ever sacks the QB just to even out the penalty calls but the calls against Mich State won’t make any difference. The calls against ND will be devastating.

      Just when the officiating has become fair for ND, the ND administration blows it again. They could have waited one week to announce this after the Mich State game. (The Michigan game always has Big 10 officials both on the field and in the reply box per the contract with Michigan.)

      • Excellent post! Points taken from “Excuses for Losing a Football Game?”
        Let’s review all this on Sunday morning.

    12. FRIENDS: The joinder with the ACC offers an opportunity for ND to revamp its football schedule. For years I have hated the forced scheduling of B1G teams in September when, logically, those games against Purdue, MSU and UM should have been played in the colder half of the season. The B1G had the rule that B1G schools had to play in conference during Oct. and Nov. Due to our commitment to the ACC we can use that contract as an excuse to force the B1G schools to play ND during the natural time of second half, or, we can drop them. I see no need to continue to play MSU and UM both in the same year. I understand the traditional rivalry with in state Purdue but I have not liked the Michigan two some. I would have rather seen ND play Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, or even Indiana on a rotation wtit the twosome. What are your thoughts? Ed

    13. Older Domer says:

      The officials question is real. I’m guessing that we “ND” has more pull over the BE football officials now, than we had yesterday: Do they want to stay with the BE, or try to join the ACC?
      That said, we’ll see how it plays out next week, when we get another BE crew, due to Michigan’s strange home field power.
      What it’ll come down to is putting a hat on the ball, especially this week. I’t is going to be very hard to stop L. Bell, one on one. It might be easier to focus on the ball, in his big mitts an bang it out. If our linebackers and safteys do that three times, one or two early, we should win.
      Again, I’m going back to stopping B. Apise.