Notre Dame will officially be exiting the Big East and joining the ACC on July 1st, as announced on UND.com today. Just as NDtex hypothesized as one of Notre Dame’s options last week, the Irish athletic program came to an agreement with the Big East to allow a separation earlier than the 27-month timetable that had been laid out when Notre Dame announced the change in conference affiliation last September.
While most believed the Irish would join the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2014 at the latest, it was also widely believe that it would require a large exit fee to be paid to the Big East. Though early reports suggested that the July move would cost ND $2.5 million, it was later reported that there will be no payment made by Notre Dame. According to ESPN, Savvy Jack was able to swing the free move because Notre Dame agreed not to go after any of the $110 million in entry and exit fees obtained by the conference over the past few years.
Speaking of the $110 million, after $10 million is paid to the departing Catholic 7 and about $15 million is paid in legal fees (I should be a lawyer), the remaining $85 million will be distributed to Cincinnati, Connecticut, South Florida and whatever new schools join the conference. That should provide some nice incentive for a few new members to join…or maybe the remaining 3 from the Little East will take the money and run.
Though Mike Brey already stated that he fully expected to play in the ACC next year, the official news brings some extra importance and excitement to the Irish taking one final run at a Big East Tournament championship at Madison Square Garden this week. Brey & Co. are set to meet the winner of today’s DePaul vs. Rutgers game at 9:00 PM EST on Wednesday. Make sure you catch the game on ESPN2.