The ACC’s presidents voted unanimously to accept the school as a new member. The Irish will compete as full members in all conference sports except football, where they’ll remain an independent – as they have since 1887. But as part of the agreement, Notre Dame will play five football games each year against ACC opponents.
“The ACC was founded on the cornerstones of balancing academics, athletics and integrity,” ACC commissioner John Swofford said. “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. … 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 adding Notre Dame, the presidents also voted to increase conference exit fees to three times the annual operating budget. Right now, that would equate to an exit fee of over $50 million.
Notre Dame has long been courted by conferences around the country but has clung to its football independence. The school joined the Big East on a partial basis in 1995, housing their non-football sports there. But with that league on shaky footing in the latest realignment craze, the Irish explored their options.
The Big East has a 27-month notice for leaving the conference, although both Syracuse and Pittsburgh negotiated earlier exits to join the ACC next year.
Notre Dame said in its press release that it will play every ACC school at least once every three years.
The Irish’s future schedules already include the following ACC or future ACC opponents:
- 2013: at Pittsburgh
- 2014: vs. Syracuse, vs. Pittsburgh
- 2015: vs. Wake Forest, at Pittsburgh, at Syracuse
- 2016: vs. Miami, vs. Pittsburgh, vs. Boston College, vs. Syracuse
- 2017: at Miami, vs. Syracuse
- 2018: vs. Boston College
- 2019: at Boston College