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Posted: Wednesday September 12, 2012 9:53AM ; Updated: Wednesday September 12, 2012 8:38PM

Notre Dame joining ACC in all sports but football, hockey

Story Highlights

Notre Dame will leave Big East to join ACC as non-football member

The school cannot leave the Big East without penalty until 2015

New $50 million exit fee should end the threat of ACC departures

By Pete Thamel, SI.com

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Athletic director Jack Swarbrick and other Notre Dame officials have long maintained the school's commitment to remaining a football independent.
Athletic director Jack Swarbrick and other Notre Dame officials have long maintained the school's commitment to remaining a football independent.
AP

Notre Dame has announced that all sports but football and hockey are leaving the Big East for the ACC, a move that will require the Irish to play five football games against ACC opponents each season.

ACC: Notre Dame joining as non-football member (pdf)

The move may cost the Irish some traditional opponents in football, as a Notre Dame official said the school's top priorities in football scheduling moving forward will be to retain a West Coast presence -- games against USC and Stanford -- and the annual game with Navy. That means Notre Dame's games against some of its Midwest opponents could be in danger.

The timing of the departure is "very murky," a Notre Dame official said. The earliest Notre Dame could leave the Big East without penalty is 2015.

The Notre Dame officials said the move will align the university with more like-minded schools in markets up and down the East Coast in which Notre Dame wants to gain exposure. Notre Dame had flirted with a scheduling arrangement with the Big 12 and joining that conference in other sports, but this move appears more logical than playing games in obscure Midwest markets.

"In any short-term way there's no financial benefit," the official said. "If we wanted to do something for money we would have joined the Big Ten. What it's really about is postseason play."

The official added: "It's a really good fit academically. There are sports that we're going to play, the non-football sports are very good and they're going to test us."

The ACC also announced another important move to sure up the future of its conference, as the presidents upped the league's exit fee to $50 million. While there was rampant speculation earlier this summer that schools like Florida State, Miami and Clemson could go to the Big 12, this decision essentially ends the threat of an ACC school leaving for another league.

 
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