Notre Dame to ACC in all sports but football

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Notre Dame is leaving the Big East for the Atlantic Coast Conference in all sports but football.

The ACC and Notre Dame said Wednesday that

the school will play five football games annually against the league's


while Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said in a

statement that the Irish will also have access to the ACC's non-BCS

bowl tie-ins.

The move allows the Irish to maintain

football independence, while the ACC is making an exception to its

all-or-nothing requirement

for schools to be full members. ACC Commissioner John Swofford

said in a statement the move was "a terrific milestone in the

evolution of the ACC and showcases tremendous solidarity and

vision by our Council of Presidents."

Along with inviting Notre Dame, the ACC also says it has increased its exit fees for the conference's schools to three times

the league's annual operation budget — which would currently come to more than $50 million.

It was not clear when the realignment will take effect. The ACC scheduled a news conference for Wednesday afternoon in Chapel

Hill, N.C.

Notre Dame has played basketball in the Big

East for years, but Syracuse and Pitt are leaving the league along with

West Virginia

— and now Notre Dame. In the ACC, the Irish will face traditional

powers like Duke, North Carolina and the league also fits

the sports Notre Dame is competitive in, including: lacrosse and


The ACC in turn gets one of the nation's premier football programs, raising its profile alongside the likes of Florida State,

Miami, Virginia Tech and Clemson.

"The ACC is composed of some of the most

highly respected universities in the country, and we at Notre Dame look

forward to

joining them," said Notre Dame President, Rev. John Jenkins. "With

a mix of institutions — many of which are also private,

similar to Notre Dame in size, and committed to excellence in

research and undergraduate education — the ACC is an exceptionally

good fit for us academically, as well as athletically."