by Pete Byrne (email@example.com)
11:24 AM EDT, March 12, 2013
NOTRE DAME - The University of Notre Dame is moving out of the Big East earlier than planned.
Notre Dame announced Tuesday that the school's athletic teams will join the Atlantic Coast Conference in all sports except football and hockey on July 1, 2013.
"All of us in the ACC are very excited about Notre Dame joining the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013", ACC commissioner John Swofford says.
"We've been ready to receive them sooner or later whenever they could exit the BIG EAST conference in an appropiate way. It's an exciting day."
Notre Dame has been a member of the Big East in most sports since 1995 and announced last September its decision to leave the conference to join the ACC.
“From the time of our decision to join the ACC, we have stressed our commitment to ensuring that our departure was achieved in a collegial manner,” Notre Dame Vice President and Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick said.
“This agreement realizes that intention, and we are grateful to the members of the Big East and Commissioner Mike Aresco for helping to facilitate this orderly and timely transition.”
With the departure of the seven current non-football schools – DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Villanova – effective July 1, Notre Dame decided to leave the Big East early.
ESPN reported Notre Dame would give the Big East $2.5 million to move to the ACC ahead of schedule.
Notre Dame will join the ACC on July 1st along with fellow former BIG EAST members Syracuse and Pittsburgh. Louisville will join the ACC in 2014.
"Across the board we're going to have to step up our game," Swarbrick added.
"Our coaches are excitied about that. That's why you come to Notre Dame (because) you want to compete with the best. So many of these sports the ACC defines that."
The Irish hockey team, currently a member of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association, joins Hockey East starting in 2013-14.
Copyright © 2013, WSBT-TV