Dan Wetzel explains some details (Yahoo!):
Even though the football team isn’t joining the ACC, that program is affected by the news as well.
The Irish will play five games every year against ACC opponents, the conference said. Notre Dame will join the ACC as soon as it can exit the Big East, according to ESPN’s story. The school has to provide a 27-month notice, but West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse were able to get out earlier by paying a higher exit fee.
The arrangement will obviously be unusual. Notre Dame will play close to a full ACC schedule – the full members of the conference play eight league games – but not be part of the league. Notre Dame could go 5-0 in games against regularly scheduled ACC foes but wouldn’t claim the conference championship, at least officially.
Like most things about realignment, it’s confusing.
ACC members will get less non-conference scheduling flexibility, but that’s probably not a bad tradeoff for those teams to get the occasional home game (and huge crowd) against Notre Dame. Notre Dame’s scheduling flexibility will also be affected a bit, but this year’s schedule already had an ACC flavor, with Miami, Boston College and Wake Forest on the slate, as well as future ACC member Pitt.
Also, the new arrangement with the ACC doesn’t affect Notre Dame’s television contract with NBC, the South Bend Tribune reports, which makes the ACC deal a pretty nice win for the Fighting Irish.
Also, tucked away in this news is the ACC’s revised $50 million exit fee, up from $20 million, which effectively solidifies the commitment of the current membership and ends any talk of ACC teams defecting the SEC (Orlando Sentinel):
One of the biggest items in Wednesday morning’s announcement from the Atlantic Coast Conference about a new partial membership agreement with Notre Dame had to do with an expanded exit fee.
According to the ACC’s announcement, school administrators serving on the ACC’s Council of Presidents upped the conference’s exit fee to $50 million. It now will take current member schools an additional $30 million to leave the conference for a new affiliation.
ESPN reporting this is a done deal:
Notre Dame will join the Atlantic Coast Conference as a full member with the exception of football, but will play five football games annually against ACC teams.
“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,” said Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame vice president and director of athletics, in a statement released by the conference. “We are able 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.”
The ACC does not offer hockey, so it is presumed that Notre Dame will go through with its planned move to Hockey East in that sport.
The Irish will join the ACC as soon as it can exit the Big East. The Big East currently requires members to provide 27 months notice to exit although West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse were able to leave earlier by paying a higher exit fee.
Keep in mind, Dick Vitale was hinting all around this on Twitter last week.
Two questions that come immediately to mind:
1) How much influence will Notre Dame have in which ACC teams it schedules? Surely it will maintain its traditional rivalry with Boston College, but will the other slots be on a standard rotation among all
12 14 teams or will there be preferences for certain teams?
2) How will this affect Notre Dame’s BCS eligibility? Will they take an ACC slot as pseudo-champion?
ESPN’s Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) just tweeted:
Notre Dame will join ACC as full member w/exception of football. ND will play 5 football games annually vs. ACC, sources told @ESPN
Notre Dame will join ACC as soon as it exits Big East. BE requires 27 months notice, but Irish could negotiate earlier exit
This is NOT a surprise to us. We’d heard multiple rumblings about Notre Dame joining the ACC, but that some ‘unique details’ were being worked out. So, we didn’t know if that was special scheduling issues related to non-revenue sports or if it was some kind of partial membership (that is clearly new territory for the Atlantic Coast Conference).