Notre Dame is moving into the Atlantic Coast Conference except football, which proves you can have your cake and eat it too.
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that the Irish would join the ACC in all sports except football, according to a source. The agreement stipulates Notre Dame plays five football games per year against ACC opponents, but not compete for the league title and play eight games, as a full member would.
That provides the Irish with the firm scheduling base it coveted while maintaining the freedom to maintain a national schedule. As for the ACC, the compromise allows its football programs access to a major brand that sells tickets and delivers TV ratings.
Previously the Irish were Big East members in all sports except football, allowing it a footprint in the Northeast, where many of its alums live. The weakening, and nationalizing, of the Big East made it easier to leave, as did former league members Pittsburgh and Syracuse heading to the ACC next season.
Notre Dame currently must schedule all of its 12 games per year. This drops to seven games, with the ACC scheduling the other five.
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