ACC welcomes Notre Dame

The Atlantic Coast Conference Council of Presidents has unanimously voted to accept the University of Notre Dame as a new member, the league announced Wednesday.

The Irish will compete as full members in all conference sponsored sports with the exception of football, which will play five games annually against league programs.

“We are committed to keeping the Atlantic Coast Conference a vibrant and competitive league dedicated to ensuring the appropriate balance of academics, athletics and integrity,” said the ACC Council of Presidents in a joint statement. “The addition of Notre Dame further strengthens the rich tradition and culture of the ACC as well as allowing for future academic collaboration and we enthusiastically welcome them into the league.”

Notre Dame also saw the benefits of affiliating itself with the ACC. “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, Irish Vice President and Director of Athletics. “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.”

With the addition of Notre Dame, the ACC’s future membership includes 11 institutions ranked among the top 58 in the 2013 U.S. News & World Report survey of “America’s Best Colleges”, more than any other conference also competing at the highest level athletically.

In addition to extending an invitation to Notre Dame, the Council of Presidents voted to increase the conference exit fees to three times the annual operating budget. Currently this would equate to an exit fee of over $50 million.

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