Notre Dame moves to ACC for 2013-14 season
The ACC will grow to a 15-team league for all of its sports but football beginning this summer.
Notre Dame, which announced in September that it would be leaving the Big East, will become an official ACC member on July 1 after the school and the Big East reached a separation agreement.
Big East presidents voted Tuesday to approve Notre Dame’s departure and clear the way for it to join the ACC for the 2013-14 school year.
“Notre Dame now looks forward with great anticipation to becoming a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference,” Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said in a statement. “We are thrilled to join a great group of institutions who share our commitment to the integration of athletics into the academic mission of the university.
“Our coaches and student-athletes across our athletic programs are truly excited about the new challenges ahead.”
When the ACC and Notre Dame announced plans for the Irish to eventually leave the Big East, expectations were that the move would happen in 2014 at the earliest.
But when the seven Big East basketball-only Catholic schools announced in December their plans to break away to form their own league, the door opened for an earlier departure by Notre Dame.
While Swarbrick did not disclose any financial terms of Notre Dame’s separation from the Big East, the move allows the Irish to enter the ACC along with fellow former Big East schools Pittsburgh and Syracuse for the 2013-14 school year.
“Our conference, schools and fans are delighted that Notre Dame will join the ACC on July 1, 2013,” ACC commissioner John Swofford said in a statement Tuesday. “The addition of Notre Dame, Pitt and Syracuse, followed by Louisville in 2014, positions us extremely well with an outstanding collection of 15 member institutions.”
Notre Dame is joining the ACC in all sports but football. In September, the school and league agreed that the Irish would remain a football independent but would play five games per season against ACC schools.
Because the 2013 football schedules already are set, Notre Dame will begin that scheduling arrangement with the 2014 season.
“This not only will enhance our league’s already ambitious football schedules but also will provide terrific fan excitement,” Swofford said.
Louisville’s move isn’t expected to be completed until 2014, which is when Maryland is expected to complete its move from the ACC to the Big Ten.
In men’s basketball, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse have been ranked among the Associated Press Top 25 teams this season and will be playing in this month’s NCAA Tournament.
Their inclusion in the ACC, which already has Top 25 teams Duke and Miami as well as projected NCAA Tournament teams North Carolina and N.C. State this season, will create what Swofford consider the nation’s best basketball conference next season.
“From a basketball perspective, the level of competition will be second to none,” Swofford said. “As we look towards the future, there’s no denying that ACC basketball will continue to set even higher standards of excitement and excellence. The competition will be brutal, which is a great thing for our league and fans.”
The ACC will play an 18-game basketball schedule next season, with each school having two partners that it plays annual home-and-away games against. Notre Dame’s partners will be Boston College and Georgia Tech.