Jack Swarbrick, Athletic Director at Notre Dame, gave BYU's decision to go independent his seal of approval.
Interviewed by the Chicago Breaking Sports outlet of WGN, Swarbrick stated: "(Independence) is not for everybody, but they [BYU] certainly fit the profile of an institution for whom it probably does make great sense—frankly, in the same way it still does for Army and Navy," Swarbrick told the Tribune on Wednesday.
"All the schools currently in that category have some common characteristics—national profile, strong history and traditions that are important to honor. BYU adds to that, as I think Notre Dame has, media access. Not everybody can produce on their own. I know precious little of the details, but it certainly looks like a smart move, from where I sit."
Swarbrick is encouraged by the shared characteristics and values shared by his institution and BYU.
Says Swarbrick: "For all those reasons: A lot of success in football, great program, storied program, great following," Swarbrick said. "They [BYU] have not only a local fan base, but the extent to which people around the country follow them is a real plus. We try very hard as we start our scheduling process to start by looking at schools that have a common approach to collegiate athletics and share our values. And they certainly fit that category."
Swarbrick previously stated that before BYU's announcement to go independent in football, that the Irish had recently had discussions with them about scheduling.
Now that BYU has formally made its intention to go independent public, Notre Dame will begin the work necessary to forge a scheduling relationship with the Cougars.
"As you know, these things, you can't just flip a switch and say, 'OK, we'll start playing,'" Swarbrick said. "You have to find open dates that match and see when you can do that. But we will certainly do everything we can to create opportunities to play BYU in football.", says Swarbrick.
BYU football coach Mendenhall was asked yesterday about what matchups he would like to see in the future for an independent BYU football team.
Quoted in the Deseret News, Mendenhall replied, "I'd love a long-term series with Notre Dame. I think that would be a great one. That's what's fun now, possibly the idea of who you'd like to play and develop some natural rivalries and learn more about different parts of the country and add more to the college experience for these kids. The chance to have choices like that, I'm excited about."
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