Notre Dame Leaving for ACC

In another blow to the Big East Conference, Notre Dame announced today it will leave for the Atlantic Coast Conference. Notre Dame is joining the ACC in all sports but football, but will play five football games annually against ACC programs, facing each ACC member at least once every three years.

There has been speculation for almost a year now that if Notre Dame became the 15th ACC member, that either Connecticut or Rutgers would be interested in becoming the 16th ACC school. No public reaction yet from UConn.

Big East commissioner Mike Aresco, just barely in the third official week of his new job, has said since he was hired he didn't think there would be any further realignment at this time. At Rentschler Field on Aug. 30, he said he thought the Big East schools – namely UConn, Rutgers and Louisville – would stay in place. Notre Dame was not mentioned specifically at that press conference.

Aresco issued this statement Wednesday: "The University of the Notre Dame has informed us that it is joining the Atlantic Coast Conference in all sports other than football. Notre Dame has been a valued member of the BIG EAST Conference and we wish them success in the future. However, Notre Dame's departure does not change our plans. We have prestigious institutions that are excited to be a part of the BIG EAST. We remain committed to making the BIG EAST stronger than it has ever been."

Syracuse and Pittsburgh are in their final seasons with the Big East and will join the ACC in 2013. It is not clear at this point when Notre Dame will join the ACC.

Notre Dame has scheduled a press conference for 6 p.m.

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