Report: Irish postpone series with Michigan

A report today from the Associated Press states Notre Dame has pulled out of three future matchups with Michigan, severing the series after the 2014 season.

According to an article by Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press a Michigan University official today confirmed an Associated Press report that Notre Dame is opting out of its series with Michigan after the team's square off in South Bend in September 2014.

The report indicates that Notre Dame director of athletics Jack Swarbrick notified Michigan athletics director Dave Brandon that the University will exercise a three-year opt-out clause in the contract, thus canceling Notre Dame-Michigan games during the 2015-17 seasons.

The series was already scheduled for a two-year hiatus in the 2018-19 seasons.

Michigan and Notre Dame have played regularly since 1978, taking two-year breaks in 1983-84, 1995-95, and 2000-01. The series began in 1887 with Michigan winning the series' first eight matchups through 1908 before Notre Dame broke through with a victory in 1909.

After the school's split a pair of matchups in 1942-43, the series has been highlighted by close games since, with 20 of 29 decided by one score or less: 14 won by Michigan, 14 by Notre Dame, and one tie (1992).

Brandon released the following statement:

"The decision to cancel games in 2015-17 was Notre Dame's and not ours. We value our annual rivalry with Notre Dame but will have to see what the future holds for any continuation of the series. This cancellation presents new scheduling opportunities for our program and provides a chance to create some new rivalries."

Update: The following is a response from Notre Dame senior associate athletics director, John Heisler:

"Our contract with Michigan has an automatic rollover provision – with a year being added each time a game is played. We needed to avoid the automatic addition of additional games until we can get a better understanding of our available inventory in those years – an understanding that will develop as we implement our five-game scheduling commitment to the Atlantic Coast Conference."

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