Notre Dame joining the ACC a year ahead of schedule

Notre Dame will join the ACC for the 2013-14 academic year, a year ahead of schedule. The move was triggered by the splitting of the Big East, notably the departure of the so-called Catholic Seven. The Big East reached an agreement with Notre Dame on Tuesday after negotiations that a statement from the conference described as “amicable and mutually respectful.”

Sports Illustrated reported that Notre Dame will not have to pay an exit fee in exchange for the school relinquishing any claims on the conference’s fund of exit and entry fees, estimated at $70 million.

Notre Dame will join Big East members Pittsburgh and Syracuse in becoming the newest ACC members July 1, which will increase the league’s size to 15 schools. Louisville will join in 2014, the same year as Maryland’s expected departure to the Big Ten. Notre Dame will participate as a full league member in all sports but football, in which it will play five ACC opponents annually beginning in 2014.

“It’s a great addition,” Georgia Tech acting athletic director Paul Griffin said. “Obviously, we’ve been eagerly anticipating their arrival, and the fact that they come in next fall just enhances our programs.”

For men’s and women’s basketball, Notre Dame will join Clemson as one of Tech’s permanent partners, meaning the Yellow Jackets will play home-and-home with the Fighting Irish annually, beginning next season.

“So they’ll be coming to McCamish Pavilion every year, and it’ll be exciting and provide us with a home-court opportunity to beat the Fighting Irish,” Griffin said.

The decision on when Tech and Notre Dame will meet in football has not been made, although it’s likely not going to be in 2014.

“Notre Dame now looks forward with great anticipation to becoming a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference,” Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said in a statement. “We are thrilled to join a great group of institutions who share our commitment to the integration of athletics into the academic mission of the university. Our coaches and student-athletes across our athletic programs are truly excited about the new challenges ahead.”

Of the Big East’s 15 present members, 12 either are leaving after this academic year or will be leaving at a later date. Only Cincinnati, Connecticut and South Florida will remain. Central Florida, Houston, Memphis, SMU and Temple will join this summer, and Tulane will join in 2014.