Notre Dame intends to stay independent in football going forward even though the school has officially joined the ACC, as athletic director Jack Swarbrick insisted during a press conference on Wednesday. The Fighting Irish will be joining the conference in every sport but football and hockey.
ND's Swarbrick: "It's our intention to remain independent" in football. "If something drastic were to change, we're committed to the ACC."— Hokies Journal (@HokiesJournal) September 12, 2012
The ACC tried to add Notre Dame as a full member, but ACC commissioner John Swofford said that the option, "wasn't in the cards." Instead, the Irish will be joining in every sport but football and hockey, so the school's highly-regarded basketball program will be moving from the Big East to the ACC.
While the Irish aren't officially a part of the ACC in football, they will play five games annually against teams from the conference. By doing so, Notre Dame will be able to maintain its individual broadcast rights contract with NBC while strengthening ACC's leverage with networks in negotiations for broadcast rights.