Notre Dame, Big East agree to early exit

The SportsXchange

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish basketball teams will battle in the ACC next year, after they reached an agreement with the Big East to leave two years early.

The Fighting Irish will join the ACC on July 1.

"This decision makes sense for the Big East," commissioner Mike Aresco said in a statement after a vote by Big East presidents. "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."

Because Notre Dame leaves under the same Mutual Commitment Agreement in which the Catholic Seven left, the Irish won't pay a traditional exit fee, but will likely forgo any claims on the estimated $70 million that the Big East has in exit and entry fees, the report said.

The original exit agreement with the Big East forced Notre Dame to give 27 months' notice, but didn't require an exit fee. To leave prior to 2015, the Big East had sought at least $2.5 million from the Fighting Irish, a source told ESPN last week. In a later report, confirmed Tuesday morning, Notre Dame didn't to pay a fee because the school agreed not to pursue any of the league's exit and entrance fee revenue of about $110 million collected in the past few years.

Of that $110 million, about $10 million was paid to the departing Catholic 7 schools, and another $15 million went to lawyers and consultants, sources told ESPN.

With Notre Dame, Syracuse and Pittsburgh joining, the ACC will now have 15 basketball schools for the 2013-14 season. Louisville will arrive for the 2014-15 season, with Maryland scheduled to head for the Big Ten.
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