Take the following with a grain of salt because clearly what athletic directors, college presidents, and conference commissioners have said in recent years have carried essentially no weight whatsoever in terms of realignment and expansion plans. With that said, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick made a statement Wednesday that will likely make most Fighting Irish backers happy.
Swarbrick held an online chat for Notre Dame’s alumni association Wednesday where he addressed the Big Ten’s recent addition of UCLA and USC and the impact they have, as well as the conference’s new TV deal that will pay them nearly a billion dollars.
“But it’s also perfect for Notre Dame,” Swarbrick said. “We need NBC to have more college football to more effectively promote our games and to talk about our games and to have NBC be seen in that light. So that was great for us that (NBC) got a big piece of this.”
Swarbrick said the recent expansions of the Big Ten (adding Southern California and UCLA in 2024) and the Southeastern Conference (adding Texas and Oklahoma in 20225) have only helped strengthen Notre Dame’s position as a college football independent.
Like I said up top, this sounds like everything we want to hear if you’re like me and hope that Notre Dame remains independent. However, it could just as easily work the other way with Notre Dame joining the Big Ten and getting a creative amount of money from this TV deal as well.
As much as I hope Swarbrick is right about the strength of independence only growing, I know these words just like most others from collegiate administrators mean next to nothing in regards to Notre Dame until their TV deal is actually up following the 2025 season.