Notre Dame Will Join ACC Following Departure From Big East this Summer

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Notre Dame Will Join ACC Following Departure From Big East this Summer

Notre Dame is all set to join the ACC as it will depart from the Big East this summer according to a press release from the Big East's official website on Tuesday.

 

UPDATE: Tuesday, March 12, at 11:14 a.m. ET by Patrick Clarke 

Notre Dame will officially depart from the Big East Conference on July 1, 2013 according to conference commissioner Mike Aresco via BigEast.org:

This decision makes sense for the Big East. In view of Notre Dame's expressed desire to join the ACC on an earlier timetable, the Big East and Notre Dame were able to arrive at an acceptable resolution. The Big East can now focus fully on its future alignment and rebranding efforts. I want to thank the Notre Dame administration and Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick for their efforts in moving toward this orderly transition. Notre Dame has been a valued member of the Big East and we wish them well.

It was announced just days ago by ESPN's Brett McMurphy that the ACC would welcome the Irish this summer if they could exit the Big East in time. 

---End of update---

 

The exit doesn't look to be a smooth one, however, as Notre Dame must negotiate with the Big East in order to leave in time to join the ACC before the start of next season. According to McMurphy, "Big East by-laws require that schools provide 27 months' notice before leaving."

Notre Dame was not expected to join the ACC until after the 2013-14 season, but seven of the conference's teams—DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall and Villanova—are set to leave and form their own conference, the Catholic 7, beginning on July 1.

That move has prompted Notre Dame and the ACC to try to team up earlier than expected. 

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According to McMurphy, Notre Dame would not have to pay the league's $10 million exit fee if it provided 27 months' notice like the conference's other schools. However, he added that the conference has negotiated higher exit fees for schools leaving before the 27 months. 

The Big East will look a lot different next season, regardless of whether Notre Dame can escape for the ACC this summer. Sadly, many of the classic rivalries have been lost because of the ongoing conference realignment. 

Notre Dame's basketball team (23-7, 11-6 Big East) is currently in fourth place in the Big East this season behind Georgetown, Louisville and Marquette, three teams that are all headed for a new conference.

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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