Notre Dame will leave the Big East for the Atlantic Coast Conference, the conference and school announced Wednesday morning.
The Fighting Irish will be a member in all sports, with the exception of football. Notre Dame will play five ACC schools a year, although it had already scheduled a game with Syracuse in 2014 at MetLife Stadium.
“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 athletic 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.”
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The ACC also announced it was raising its exit fee to $50 million, shielding it from potential defections from the league.
“The ACC was founded on the cornerstones of balancing academics, athletics and integrity,” Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford said in the release. “Our partnership with Notre Dame only strengthens this long-standing commitment. Notre Dame enhances the league’s unique blend of public and private institutions that are international in scope.”
The move is a huge blow to the Big East, which has seen TCU, Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia leave for different conferences within the last year.
It comes at a critical juncture for Big East as it prepares to negotiate a new television contract.
The move was well received by Syracuse.
“This is a brilliant move for the ACC and for the future of Syracuse athletics,” Syracuse University Director of Athletics Daryl Gross said in a release. “Notre Dame is obviously a significant nationally recognized institution that adds tremendous competitive and academic value to the conference. Notre Dame’s commitment of playing a significant number of football games versus conference opponents annually is outstanding. All of our sports will benefit from the competition Notre Dame brings to the ACC. We are proud to be joined by Notre Dame in the ACC.”
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