Notre Dame to the ACC, Catholic 7 moves now official

Notre Dame to the ACC, Catholic 7 moves now official

Notre Dame to the ACC is something I wrote should happen about 2-3 years ago, and updated last year when the news became public it was really going to happen. Today is the formal approval of that something I said, as Notre Dame to the ACC was made final this morning. Notre to the ACC is happening in every sport except the one that people actually care about, college football. Well, some people care about their hockey program too; to some extent.

No one cares about men’s basketball, as I guarantee you Irish sports fans are 100x more likely to be discussing #1 QB recruit Gunner Kiel flip flopping worse than John Kerry and Mitt Romney combined, or spring football practice than they are NCAA seeding possibilities/potential tourney runs or basketball conference realignment.

With the departure of the Catholic 7 (isn’t it ironic that Notre Dame is NOT part of the Catholic 7? As they’re the school that most proudly wears their religion on their sleeve, Touchdown Jesus anyone?) — DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Villanova, — effective July 1, Notre Dame and the Big East jointly agreed that it would be best for Notre Dame to depart at the same time.

Not since Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation have a group of Catholics felt so freed and empowered. I guess 7 Catholic schools are giving up their conference for Lent, as that announcement was also made formal today. Notre Dame to the ACC becomes effective July 1, just like the Catholic 7.

The Notre Dame hockey team, currently a member of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association in the final season for that league, joins Hockey East starting in 2013-14. ND football remains independent, but will play the ACC in at least 5 games beginning in 2014. I kind of saw this coming given how 1.) they already have a fierce rivalry with Boston College 2.) have a mild rivalry with Miami 3.) Notre Dame to the ACC was evident in their recent scheduling: Wake Forest, Maryland anyone? Notre Dame to the ACC was inevitable.

Sports Illustrated first tweeted the news late last night, (look SI actually is more than Kate Upton, and the Swimsuit Issue) and the PR-crafted boilerplate statements were sent out just over an hour ago, making Notre Dame to the ACC now official.

Here is an excerpt from such boilerplate. Ever notice how all Big East press releases always mention the conference in ALL CAPS? As if they’re YELLING AT YOU, just for that ONE word:

The agreement was reached through amicable and mutually respectful discussions between the BIG EAST Conference and Notre Dame.

“This decision makes sense for the BIG EAST,” said Aresco.  “In view of Notre Dame’s expressed desire to join the ACC on an earlier timetable, the BIG EAST and Notre Dame were able to arrive at an acceptable resolution. The BIG EAST can now focus fully on its future alignment and rebranding efforts. I want to thank the Notre Dame administration and Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick for their efforts in moving toward this orderly transition.  Notre Dame has been a valued member of the BIG EAST and we wish them well.”

“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 very grateful to the members of the BIG EAST and Commissioner Aresco for helping to facilitate this orderly and timely transition.”

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports, a Google News site generating millions of visitors. He also contributes regularly to MSN, Fox Sports , Chicago Now, Walter and Yardbarker

He's also an author who has appeared on Comcast SportsNet and the History Channel, as well as Clear Channel, ESPN and CBS radio all over the world. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB)

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