Notre Dame won't be joining Big 12, opts for ACC

CONFERENCE REALIGNMENT — Big 12 discussions about adding Notre Dame as a member went nowhere. Notre Dame is headed to the ACC in every sports except football, according to a published report.
by Michael Baldwin Modified: September 12, 2012 at 9:53 am •  Published: September 12, 2012

Forget about Notre Dame joining the Big 12. The Irish are joining the Atlantic Coast Conference with the exception of being a full-time football member, although they will play five ACC football games a year, according to ESPN.

The Big 12 discussed making a similar offer to Notre Dame in a January memo written by former Big 12 interim conference commissioner Chuck Neinas, according to information obtained earlier this year by The Oklahoman through an open records request.

According to the memo Neinas said Notre Dame is the only school the Big 12 could add that would “enhance the Big 12 value for television.”

Instead, Notre Dame has accepted a similar arrangement with the ACC.

The report said Notre Dame will play five ACC football games and compete fully in the ACC in all other sports except hockey, which the ACC doesn't offer.

There was a report this past summer the Big 12 and Notre Dame were in negotiations for a similarly structured deal with Notre Dame.

“I have no idea what prompted that (report),” Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick was quoted by the South Bend Tribune in July. “It is not based on any discussions, any meeting, anything that we have done.”

Three months later Notre Dame has accepted a deal with the ACC. The Irish will remain independent for the time being in football since it can still qualify for the future four-team playoff without a conference affiliation.

Notre Dame will join the ACC as soon as it can exit the Big East. The Big East currently requires members to provide 27 months advance notice to exit although West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse left earlier by paying a high exit fee.

by Michael Baldwin
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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