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Notre Dame will leave Big East to join the ACC

8:23 AM, Sep 12, 2012   |    comments
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By Erick Smith, USA TODAY

Notre Dame will have a new conference home for all sports besides football.

The school will leave the Big East and join the Atlantic Coast Conference.

A press conference is scheduled for this afternoon in Chapel Hill, N.C.

"We are committed to keeping the Atlantic Coast Conference a vibrant and competitive league dedicated to ensuring the appropriate balance of academics, athletics and integrity," said the ACC Council of Presidents in a joint statement. "The addition of Notre Dame further strengthens the rich tradition and culture of the ACC as well as allowing for future academic collaboration and we enthusiastically welcome them into the league."

While Notre Dame will not be a conference member football, it will commit to five games with league members each season. That still would provide the Irish the flexibility to continue its traditional games against Big Ten opponents Purdue, Michigan and Michigan State along with its annual series with Navy.

"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," Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick said in a statement. "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 Irish joined the Big East in 1995 while keeping its football team as an independent. Notre Dame has flirted with joining the Big Ten in the past, and the Big 12 has courted the school publically about joining the league.

Big East bylaws require any schools leaving the conference to provide 27 months notice. That means Notre Dame could not join its new league until the 2015-16 academic season unless it negotiates an early departure as West Virginia, Syracuse and Pittsburgh have done in the last year.

The story was first reported by ESPN.

USA TODAY

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