According to Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel, Notre Dame will leave the Big East to join the ACC next year for basketball.
Earlier in the year, the ACC announced that the Fighting Irish would join the conference for most sports, notably excluding football, where Notre Dame will remain independent. The Fighting Irish will play five football games against ACC schools but will not be a part of the conference.
The move will give the ACC 15 basketball schools next year—Notre Dame, plus Syracuse and Pittsburgh, the latter two of which are also coming over from the Big East. Notre Dame’s basketball coach, Mike Brey, is a former Duke assistant under Mike Krzyzewski.
Maryland is scheduled to depart the ACC for the Big Ten, but that departure is not expected until after the 2013-2014 season. The conference will remain at 15, however, with the addition of Louisville, also from the Big East.
The move will not affect football next year, with the schedules already announced for the 2013 season.
The Big East is going through major changes right now as the “Catholic 7″ schools have moved to create a new Big East conference.
Here is what Thamel writes:
Notre Dame’s basketball teams will play in the ACC next year, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation. The Big East presidents will vote on the issue Tuesday morning, and an announcement is expected sometime after their conference call ends.
“It’s everyone’s intention that this will happen tomorrow,” said the source.
The move doesn’t come as a surprise. The ACC has remained Notre Dame’s desired landing spot since the Big East basketball conference became depleted with the departure of the Catholic Seven. Notre Dame coach Mike Brey has been vocal about his hope to play in the ACC, a league he grew up watching as a Maryland fan and coached in as a long-time assistant at Duke. With the ACC’s basketball schedule yet to be completed for next year, the league was able to accommodate the Irish.
The economics of Notre Dame’s exit will be similar to the departing Catholic Seven basketball schools, meaning it will keep its NCAA basketball units and take a small amount of the Big East reserve fund.
Because Notre Dame left the Big East under a Mutual Commitment Agreement -– the same method as the Catholic Seven -– it was not subject to the traditional exit fee it would have faced if it stayed in the league for 27 months. Notre Dame’s fee will essentially end up forgoing any claims to the estimated $70 million the Big East has stashed away in exit and entry fees. (That number is liquid due to litigation and other factors.)