ACC accepts Notre Dame as new member - FOX Carolina 21

ACC accepts Notre Dame as new member

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CHAPEL HILL (FOX Carolina) -

The Atlantic Coast Conference has accepted the University of Notre Dame as a new member, making it the 15th school in the conference.

The Irish will compete as full members in all sports except football and hockey. They have committed to playing five ACC teams a year in football as well as each conference member at least once every three years, according to a release from Notre Dame.

The ACC Council of Presidents unanimously voted to accept Notre Dame during their fall meeting, held this year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"We have monitored the changing conference landscape for many months and have concluded that moving to the ACC is the best course of action for us," said Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame vice president and director of athletics, in a release posted online.

"We are able to maintain our historic independence in football, join in the ACC's non-BCS bowl package, and provide a new and extremely competitive home for our other sports," said Swarbrick.

The ACC Council of Presidents also voted to increase the exit fee to more than $50 million if a team wants to leave the conference, which goes into effect immediately.

Irish will compete in some ACC football

Swarbrick said the Irish will be a part of the ACC's non-BCS bowl package.

He also said the move does not affect Notre Dame's partnership with NBC Sports, saying the change in affiliation is "essentially revenue neutral."

"Financial implications were not a motivation," said Swarbrick.

When the five-game series begins, Notre Dame will play two away conference games, two home and then alternate.

When asked about the possible addition of a 16th team to the conference, ACC officials said there was no need or intention to add a new school. Notre Dame will not be included in either football division, maintaining 14 teams competing in football.

Additionally, ACC officials said Notre Dame will be included in conference television contracts except for football and hockey.

Because the ACC does not have hockey, the Irish will compete in the Hockey East Association at the end of the 2012-2013 season in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

Notre Dame would join the ACC as soon as it can leave the Big East. There is no word yet from the Big East on when that would happen. The Irish have been in the Big East since 1995.

The Irish will join current ACC member schools Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. Pittsburgh and Syracuse will join the conference on July 1, 2013.

Besides Notre Dame's successful athletics history, it is the addition of another successful academic school.

Notre Dame's NCAA Graduation Success Rate (GSR) for all student-athletes has been ranked first among FBS institutions the past four years, and the football team's GSR has ranked first for three straight years.

The football team has 11 consensus national championships, seven Heisman Trophy winners and more All-Americans and Hall of Famers than any other program in the country.

While in the Big East, the Irish won 116 titles in several men's and women's sports.

Clemson's reaction to new school

Clemson coaches and Athletics Director Terry Don Phillips are expected to comment on the addition later on Wednesday.

The most recent encounter between the two schools was when Notre Dame, ranked 15th at the time, beat the Clemson men's soccer team 2-1 during the Indiana Invitational in Bloomington, IN, on Sept. 2.

In April, the Clemson women's rowing team finished two seconds behind the Irish at the UVA Invitational in one of three racing sessions.

Clemson men's basketball head coach Brad Brownell said the addition of the Irish was, "another feather in the cap of the league."

"We've added another program that is really strong in basketball," said Brownell. "They have a national reputation and tradition. It solidifies the fact that the ACC has become the premier league in college basketball.

"Mike Brey is an outstanding coach who does things the right way," Brownell continued. "He's stayed the course at Notre Dame and built a tremendous program. His program has sustained consistent success, which is something we all strive to do.

Brownell went on to say that he believes Clemson will be able to recruit more in the Chicago area and in Indiana with addition of the Irish. Notre Dame is located in South Bend, IN.

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