The University of Notre Dame has thrived as one of the most recognizable college programs for years as both an independent and member of the Big East. According to a report from ESPN’s Brett McMurphy, the Fighting Irish are set to join the Atlantic Coast Conference (or more popularly known as the ACC) for all sports, excluding football:
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, industry sources told ESPN’s Brett McMurphy.
Fighting Irish basketball coach Mike Brey confirmed the move with a text to ESPN.com’s Andy Katz, saying: “We’re going” to the ACC.
22 of Notre Dame’s 26 athletic programs are currently members of the Big East, with football being independent, fencing competing in the Midwest Fencing Conference and their hockey programs competing in the Hockey East.
Moving from the Big East to the ACC should improve the Fighting Irish’s recruiting profile as the ACC plays a large number of televised basketball games, so it’s tough to argue against the move. Moving to the ACC also would give Notre Dame new opportunities for television revenue, as the ACC is one of the most televised basketball conferences in the NCAA.
There is typically a 27 month waiting period before a school can officially leave the Big east, but don’t be surprised in Notre Dame pays a fee to exit sooner.