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Notre Dame will play in ACC in 2013-14

Chris Allen | Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Notre Dame Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick put an end to months of speculation Tuesday morning by announcing all Notre Dame teams except football and hockey will join the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) for the 2013-14 season.

The move comes on the heels of turmoil in Notre Dame’s old conference, the Big East. The defection of the so-called “Catholic Seven” to form a new conference on July 1 had caused turmoil in the league. Swarbrick said Notre Dame and the Big East agreed on the appropriateness of the early Irish transition to the ACC.

“From the time of our decision to join the ACC we have stressed our commitment to ensuring that our departure was achieved in a collegial manner,” Swarbrick said.  “This agreement realizes that intention and we are very grateful to the members of the Big East and Commissioner Mike Aresco for helping to facilitate this orderly and timely transition.”

Swarbrick announced Notre Dame’s intention to join the ACC in all sports except football and hockey in a press conference September 12, 2012. The move to the ACC came with a stipulated $5 million exit fee and 27 months’ notice in order to leave the Big East. With the move of the Catholic Seven, however, Swarbrick and Aresco agreed to negotiate Notre Dame’s early exit. Notre Dame has been a member of the Big East since 1995.

“This decision makes sense for the Big East,” said Aresco.  “In view of Notre Dame’s expressed desire to join the ACC on an earlier timetable, the Big East and Notre Dame were able to arrive at an acceptable resolution. The Big East can now focus fully on its future alignment and rebranding efforts. I want to thank the Notre Dame administration and Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick for their efforts in moving toward this orderly transition.  Notre Dame has been a valued member of the Big East and we wish them well.”

Tuesday’s announcement means this week’s Big East tournaments for men’s and women’s basketball will be the final tournaments for the Irish basketball programs. The No. 2 Notre Dame women will face No. 3 Connecticut in the Big East final tonight at 7 p.m., while the No. 24 Irish men will play the winner of Rutgers-DePaul on Wednesday at 9 p.m. at Madison Square Garden in New York.

On top of the move to the ACC, the Notre Dame football program will begin scheduling five games per year against ACC opponents starting with the 2014 schedule. The Irish hockey program will exit the CCHA, its current conference, and begin play in Hockey East for the 2013-14 season.

The move to the ACC is expected to officially take place July 1.

Contact Chris Allen at callen10@nd.edu