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ND to stay in Big East for 2013-14

By Mike Monaco | Friday, February 8, 2013

Notre Dame Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick told ESPN on Thursday that Notre Dame will remain in the Big East for the 2013-14 season.

“It’s important to say all we’re confirming is where we are next year,” Swarbrick said.

Swarbrick’s comments came on the heels of the announcement made by Irish men’s basketball coach Mike Brey, who said during a teleconference Thursday that Notre Dame would play in the Big East next season before heading to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Notre Dame announced Sept. 12 that it would join the ACC in all sports except football and hockey, which will be independent and join Hockey East, respectively.

“We do know we’ll be in the Big East next season,” Brey said when asked of scheduling for the 2013-2014 season. “That decision was made [Feb. 1]. So thank God we have some direction. We will play in the Big East next year.”

Swarbrick said the decision to remain in the conference applies to those other sports, excluding hockey and football, as well. The timetable for the move to the ACC, however, was initially unclear in September. Big East rules stipulate that a school must wait 27 months before leaving the conference and must pay an exit fee. Schools typically have the ability to expedite the process by paying a larger exit fee.

Swarbrick told ESPN on Thursday that he thinks it’s in everyone’s best interest for Notre Dame and the nine other Big East schools planning on exiting the conference to do so “sooner rather than later.”

“I think it’s in the interest of everybody to figure out a way to get it done sooner rather than later,” Swarbrick said. “It’s not good for the [Big East] conference. You get all this talk about when people are leaving instead of who’s in your conference.”

Rutgers announced Nov. 20 it will leave the Big East for the Big Ten. Louisville announced it will join Notre Dame in the ACC. The ‘Catholic 7’ basketball schools – DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Villanova – have informed the Big East of their plans to exit the conference.

“Especially with the announcement now that you’ve got 10 schools [giving] their intention to leave, I think it’s in everyone’s interest to make that as early as possible,” Swarbrick said.

Syracuse and Pittsburgh are also both leaving the Big East for the ACC at the conclusion of this season. The Orange and Panthers are allowed to leave July 1 and will pay $7.5 million fees each, according to ESPN.

Contact Mike Monaco at jmonaco@nd.edu