Notre Dame Sports Joining ACC, Atlantic Coast Conference, Except Football Program

9:02 PM, Sep 12, 2012   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC-- The Atlantic Coast Conference Council of Presidents has unanimously voted to accept the University of Notre Dame as a new member.

The Irish will compete as full members in all conference sponsored sports with the exception of football which will play five games annually against league programs.

"We are committed to keeping the Atlantic Coast Conference a vibrant and competitive league dedicated to ensuring the appropriate balance of academics, athletics and integrity," said the ACC Council of Presidents in a joint statement. "The addition of Notre Dame further strengthens the rich tradition and culture of the ACC as well as allowing for future academic collaboration and we enthusiastically welcome them into the league."

"The ACC was founded on the cornerstones of balancing academics, athletics and integrity," said Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford. "Our partnership with Notre Dame only strengthens this long."

With the addition of Notre Dame, the ACC's future membership includes 11 institutions ranked among the top 58 in the 2013 U.S. News & World Report survey of "America's Best Colleges", more than any other conference also competing at the highest level athletically.

In addition to extending an invitation to Notre Dame, the Council of Presidents voted to increase the conference exit fees to three times the annual operating budget. Currently this would equate to an exit fee of over $50 million.

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Select statements on the University of Notre Dame joining the Atlantic Coast Conference:

Statement from Brian Kelly, head football coach at Notre Dame: "Today is a great day for the University of Notre Dame and our athletics department, including the football program.  Speaking strictly from a football standpoint, we have further solidified our future as an independent in college football, maintained our unique ability to schedule nationally and greatly improved our postseason bowl game options.  I applaud Father Jenkins and Jack Swarbrick for this move. They have set our entire athletics department up for great success in the future."

University of North Carolina Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham
"It's an exciting and historic day for everyone associated with the ACC and college athletics. Notre Dame shares the University of North Carolina's and the ACC's values of integrity, academic achievement and athletic success. It will be a major plus for ACC football to play the Fighting Irish five times a year and their basketball programs and Olympic sports teams have much to offer to our league. The ACC presidents, Commissioner Swofford and the ACC staff should be applauded for their forward thinking in making Notre Dame and the ACC a reality. It is a move that strengthens each and every ACC institution and solidifies the league's place as one of the premier conferences in the country."

Head Men's Basketball Coach Roy Williams:
"The ACC's decision to add Notre Dame has my full support. I wish to welcome the Fighting Irish and their fans to the ACC. It's a great school with one of the most historic traditions in all of college athletics. I look forward to competing against them on a regular basis. Certainly as conferences looked to expand their membership, common sense said to look at Notre Dame. Notre Dame and the ACC is a fit that makes a lot of sense."

ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference)

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