The University of Notre Dame announced Wednesday that it will join the ACC in all sports except football. Ultimately, the ACC was willing to do what other conferences were not, accepting the Irish without football.
Football is Notre Dame's signature sport and although the Fighting Irish will remain an independent in football, part of the deal of Notre Dame joining the ACC means the Fighting Irish will play five football games against ACC teams each year. That means Virginia and all the other ACC schools will face Notre Dame once every three years.
ACC Commissioner John Swofford says, "The ACC was founded on balancing athletics with academics and integrity and the addition of Notre Dame only strengthens the this long standing commitment that this league has."
Notre Dame will not be allowed to play for the ACC championship, but the Irish benefit with the freedom of maintaining a national schedule and a TV deal with NBC.
Notre Dame President John Jenkins says, "Our partnership with the superb universities of the ACC will enhance Notre Dame as a hole and Notre Dame is fully committed to enhancing the ACC and its member institutions."
Notre Dame will remain in the Big East conference for the next year and half and will likely join the ACC in 2014.
Notre Dame Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick says, "And by being a part of conference with such perfect geographical fit for us we are able to promote our University."
UVA baseball coach, Brian O'Connor was an assistant coach at Notre Dame for nine years before coming to Virginia in 2003.
He says, "From an academic standpoint and for who their sports have to recruit, because their admissions standards are so inline with what they believe in, so certainly there are parallels there, but from their standpoint it gives them the entire East Coast from a recruiting standpoint in all of their sports. I was personally hoping it would happened because I think everyone benefits from it."
Notre Dame will be the 15th member of the ACC and the third school to announce they will join the conference in the last year along with Pittsburgh and Syracuse.