The Notre Dame Fighting Irish announced on Wednesday that the school is leaving the Big East for the ACC, and it will pay $5 million in order to do so. That is the conference exit fee for leaving the Big East, and it also requires that Notre Dame give 27 months notice before exiting.
The Irish, though, may be able to leave the Big East earlier if it agrees to pay the conference a larger sum of money. The West Virginia Mountaineers were able to leave the Big East for the Big 12 before the 2012 season by agreeing to pay a sum of $20 million. The Syracuse Orange will leave the conference in 2013 by paying $7.5 million, as will the Pittsburgh Panthers. Both Pitt and Syracuse will leave the conference exactly one year before the end of the required 27-month period.
Notre Dame will join the Big East as a full member with the exceptions of football, which will play five games a year against ACC opponents, and hockey, which will remain with the Hockey East conference from 2013 onward.