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Notre Dame to join ACC

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RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Notre Dame will leave the Big East Conference and join the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), according to a university press release.

The move to the ACC will include all sports with the exception of football. Under the agreement, Notre Dame would play football against five ACC schools each season.

“This approach allows us to help promote ACC football while maintaining our traditional rivalries and a national schedule,” said Jack Swarbrick, vice president and director of athletics at Notre Dame. Notre Dame would be a part of the ACC’s non-BCS bowl package, he added.

Notre Dame said it would work with the Big East and ACC to figure out when the transition can take place. Syracuse University and the University of Pittsburgh are currently in their last year as members of the Big East before heading to the ACC.

“We are immensely grateful to the members of the Big East, which has been a wonderful home for us the past 17 years. We also think that the conference has a strong future under the leadership of its new commissioner, Mike Aresco.” Swarbrick said. “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.”

Beyond athletics, which have sparked a numbers of schools, including VCU, to switch conferences in recent years, Notre Dame’s president called the move to the ACC the beneficial for other reasons.

“With a mix of institutions – many of which are also private, similar to Notre Dame in size, and committed to excellence in research and undergraduate education – the ACC is an exceptionally good fit for us academically, as well as athletically,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.

Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford added the addition of Notre Dame to the ACC further expands the conference’s geographic footprint.

“The collective alumni and fan bases cover the entire country with exceptionally strong roots up and down the Atlantic Coast,” he said.

The Notre Dame hockey team will move to Hockey East after a final season in 2012-13 in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

This is a developing story.