Notre Dame isn’t currently talking about full-time membership with the ACC.
The Fighting Irish are an ACC member in all sports but football. Notre Dame has long cherished its football independence and it looks like the status isn’t changing anytime soon.
“Absolutely not true,” Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said via the Orlando Sentinel about any rumors of ACC discussions. “We love the ACC but we love our relationship the way it is and there hasn’t been any discussion.”
If you’re wondering where the rumor began, it appears to have started with Fox Sports’ Tim Brando, who appeared on a Louisville sports talk show last week and said people at Notre Dame have “indicated” to him that conversations had taken place between the school and conference about the Irish becoming a full-time member.
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Notre Dame’s independence allows the school to have its lucrative television contract with NBC to broadcast its home games. Given the ACC’s arrangement for its forthcoming network with ESPN, Notre Dame’s NBC contract would be a tricky hurdle if it wanted to be a full ACC member. It currently has a scheduling alignment with the conference that provides the school with five games a year.
And that alliance was extended for the foreseeable future recently. Notre Dame and the ACC announced the Irish’s future ACC opponents through the 2037 season. If there were imminent discussions about that alliance changing, it’s reasonable to think that games 20 years from now wouldn’t need to be announced.
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