The University of Notre Dame will join the Atlantic Coast Conference for athletic competition in all sports except football and hockey beginning with the upcoming 2013-14 seasons.
Notre Dame has been a member of the Big East Conference in most sports since 1995. The University announced Sept. 13 that it would leave the Big East to join the ACC.
With the departure of the seven current non-football institutions — DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Villanova, — effective July 1, Notre Dame and the Big East jointly agreed that it would be best for Notre Dame to depart at the same time.
“From the time of our decision to join the ACC we have stressed our commitment to ensuring that our departure was achieved in a collegial manner,” Notre Dame vice president and director of athletics Jack Swarbrick said. “This agreement realizes that intention and we are very grateful to the members of the Big East and Commissioner Mike Aresco for helping to facilitate this orderly and timely transition.”
BIG EAST Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco also commented on the announcement. “This decision makes sense for the BIG EAST,” said Aresco. “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."
ACC Commissioner, John Swofford said they welcome the addition of Notre Dame. “Our conference, schools and fans are delighted that Notre Dame will join the ACC on July 1, 2013. The addition of Notre Dame, Pitt and Syracuse, followed by Louisville in 2014, positions us extremely well with an outstanding collection of 15 member institutions,” said Swofford.
“As was previously announced, our annual five games against Notre Dame in football will begin with the 2014 season. This not only will enhance our league’s already ambitious football schedules but also will provide terrific fan excitement.”
“From a basketball perspective, the level of competition will be second to none. As we look towards the future, there’s no denying that ACC Basketball will continue to set even higher standards of excitement and excellence. The competition will be brutal, which is a great thing for our league and fans,” said Swofford.
In regards to their next step, Swarbrick stated, “Notre Dame now looks forward with great anticipation to becoming a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. We are thrilled to join a great group of institutions who share our commitment to the integration of athletics into the academic mission of the university. Our coaches and student-athletes across our athletic programs are truly excited about the new challenges ahead,” said Swarbrick.
While the vast majority of Notre Dame athletic teams will begin ACC play in 2013-14, the Irish football program remains independent. Beginning in 2014 Notre Dame will play five football games per season against ACC programs.
The Notre Dame hockey team, currently a member of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association in the final season for that league, joins Hockey East starting in 2013-14.
Notre Dame has 13 currently-competing teams that are nationally ranked – No. 1 women’s fencing, No. 2 women’s basketball, No. 2 men’s fencing, No. 3 men’s lacrosse, No. 6 women’s lacrosse, No. 12 hockey, No. 15 women’s tennis, No. 18 women’s swimming, No. 17 baseball, No. 22 women’s golf, No. 20 men’s swimming, No. 24 men’s basketball, and No. 27 men’s tennis.