September 12, 2012
BOLTING THE BIG EAST
Notre Dame to join ACC
SOUTH BEND, Ind---Signaling a big move and change in scheduling for its men’s and women’s soccer teams, the University of Notre Dame on Wednesday accepted an invitation to become a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference in all sports except football.
The move means the Fighting Irish teams will be leaving the Big East, where the women’s program especially has been a dominant force, capturing 11 Big East titles. Notre Dame has been a part of the conference since 1995.
Now, instead of facing foes like UConn, Rutgers, Seton Hall, St. John’s Marquette, Villanova, Georgetown and Providence, Fighting Irish soccer teams will instead face Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. Two other former Big East teams, Pittsburgh and Syracuse, will join the ACC on July 1, 2013.
“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,” Jack Swarbrick, vice president and director of athletics at Notre Dame said. “This will enable us 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.
It is not yet known how soon the change will take effect, since the school must negotiate an exit from the Big East.