It wasn’t a surprise, but it was probably the final nail in the coffin of the former Big East, which will have a new name by the time Notre Dame joins the ACC with all of its athletic program, except for the football team, for now.
Notre Dame were scheduled to join the ACC a bit later, maybe only after the 2013-2014 season, but the quick dispersal of the conference, as the Catholic 7 get to keep the name of the Big East while the other ten teams from the conference, Cincinnati, UConn, UCF, Houston, Louisville, Memphis, Rutgers, SMU, Temple and USF, will have to find a new name by the time Notre Dame becomes an ACC team.
In the ACC, they’ve been planning for this change for quite some time; it already has formulated an 18-game, 15-team scheduling format for men’s basketball. In football, Notre Dame aren’t budging from their independent status which is simply worth too much money, but they are shifting more and more towards playing ACC games.
In 2012, they played Miami, Boston College and Wake Forest. They also played Pittsburgh, which will also become an ACC team next season. In 2013, they’ll be playing just Pitt, but they have scheduled home-and-home ACC games against Boston College and Georgia Tech along with two other ACC schools to be determined. Notre Dame also will play one game each against the league’s remaining 10 members. From 2014, they will play five ACC teams each season on their football schedule.
Despite the agreement that called for the Irish to pay $2.5 million for leaving the Big East before 2015, Notre Dame was not required to pay an exit fee because the school agreed not to seek any of the league’s exit and entrance fee revenue of about $110 million accumulated in the past few years.
Of the Big East’s $110 million, about $10 million was given to the departing Catholic 7 schools, with $15 million going to lawyers and consultants, sources said, which leaves about $85 million for the remaining incoming members of what people call the new Conference USA, or Conference USA 2. However, America 12 Conference seems to be the popular name with decision makers.