Big East presidents approve early exit for Notre Dame to ACC

Jonathan Daniel

Embattled Big East presidents announce approval of the Fighting Irish's early exit to the Atlantic Coast Conference, one year ahead of schedule.

Notre Dame athletics, with the exception of its football program, will move to the Atlantic Coast Conference effective July 1, 2013 per a statement released Tuesday by the Big East conference. Notre Dame was originally scheduled to join the ACC prior to the 2014-15 academic year, but the secession of the "Catholic 7" schools opened the door for an early departure for the Irish.

From the official release:

“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 ACC already had plans in place for an early transition, in the event that the immediate stability of the Big East became untenable. Consequently, the Irish will begin competing for their new conference in all sports save for football, which will stick to the original timeline of a 2014 start in league play.

Per the original release from the ACC, Notre Dame will begin competing for ACC championships in all sports save for football and hockey upon arrival. Notre Dame's football program will play 5 games a year against ACC opponents to be determined.

Men's and women's basketball will move to a 18-game, 15-team format that will see the ACC Tournament expand to a five-day event, with three games to be played on Wednesday. The Irish will be one of three new additions to the conference, as Syracuse and Pittsburgh were already slated to join the ACC for 2013. Louisville will follow in 2014.

Unlike Marlyand's imminent departure to the Big Ten next year, which comes with a price tag of $53m in exit fees, Notre Dame will pay relatively next to nothing to the Big East for its fast track to the ACC.

Per ESPN.com:

"Notre Dame's exit agreement with the Big East requires the Fighting Irish to provide 27 months notice and does not require an exit fee. But the Fighting Irish and Big East agreed on the $2.5 million amount to let Notre Dame move to the ACC ahead of schedule."

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