NBC Sports Enables Notre Dame Football to Continue to Do as It Pleases

Barry LeonardAnalyst IIISeptember 12, 2012

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 08:  Everett Golson #5 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish  looks for a receiver against the Purdue Boilermakers at Notre Dame Stadium on September 8, 2012 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Purdue 21-17.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Notre Dame football program continues to prove that it can do whatever it wants. In this age where conference realignment is happening all over the landscape of college sports, Notre Dame just keeps going along, making money off its past glories.

It was announced on Wednesday that Notre Dame will be leaving the Big East, and following the likes of Syracuse and Pittsburgh to the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Notre Dame football program will retain its independent status, but be required to play at least five ACC foes a year.

This is getting silly. There is no reason that Notre Dame should not be in a conference for football. Oh wait, there are millions of reasons why. NBC continues to throw money at the university in order to have the rights to broadcast all home games.

The current contract is good through the 2015 season.

No one can blame Notre Dame for taking the NBC deal and staying independent. If NBC is foolish enough to keep throwing money its way, the school has to take it. NBC started the Notre Dame deal back in 1991, when the Irish were still relevant in college football.

However, past success does not make up for recent failures.

The facts speak for themselves. The Irish have finished in the Top 10 of the AP poll only three seasons since the deal began: 1992, 1993 and 2005. The last championship for the Irish came in 1988. Since their 1994 victory of Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl, Notre Dame has won just two bowl games.

Without a doubt, Notre Dame is one of the most historic programs in college football. The names are legendary. Rockne, Parseghian, Holtz, Hornung, Montana, the list goes on. The problem is, a lot of the people who watch college football were not even alive the last time Notre Dame was relevant.

Based on recent performance, Notre Dame is no longer one of the elite programs in college football.

The fact that NBC is willing to pay millions of dollars for the right to Notre Dame home games is ludicrous. It's about as bad as a boss who continues to  renew the contract and give a raise to an employee who has done a terrible job over the past decade, but was employee of the month 20 years ago.

Of course, Notre Dame is smart to take the money, but the madness needs to end. Notre Dame football is no longer the power it once was. The special treatment is now undeserved.