The Atlantic Coast Conference Council of Presidents has unanimously voted to accept the University of Notre Dame as a new member. The Irish will compete as full members in all conference sponsored sports with the exception of football which will play five games annually against league programs.
"We are committed to keeping the Atlantic Coast Conference a vibrant and competitive league dedicated to ensuring the appropriate balance of academics, athletics and integrity," said the ACC Council of Presidents in a joint statement. "The addition of Notre Dame further strengthens the rich tradition and culture of the ACC as well as allowing for future academic collaboration and we enthusiastically welcome them into the league."
"The ACC was founded on the cornerstones of balancing academics, athletics and integrity," said Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford. "Our partnership with Notre Dame only strengthens this long-standing commitment. Notre Dame enhances the league's unique blend of public and private institutions that are international in scope. The collective alumni and fan bases cover the entire country with exceptionally strong roots up and down the Atlantic Coast. This is a terrific milestone in the evolution of the ACC and showcases tremendous solidarity and vision by our Council of Presidents."
"The ACC is composed of some of the most highly respected universities in the country, and we at Notre Dame look forward to joining them," said Notre Dame President, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. "With a mix of institutions - many of which are also private, similar to Notre Dame in size, and committed to excellence in research and undergraduate education - the ACC is an exceptionally good fit for us academically, as well as athletically."
"We have monitored the changing conference landscape for many months and have concluded that moving to the ACC is the best course of action for us," said Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame Vice President and Director of Athletics. "We are able to maintain our historic independence in football, join in the ACC's non-BCS bowl package, and provide a new and extremely competitive home for our other sports."
With the addition of Notre Dame, the ACC's future membership includes 11 institutions ranked among the top 58 in the 2013 U.S. News & World Report survey of "America's Best Colleges", more than any other conference also competing at the highest level athletically.
In addition to extending an invitation to Notre Dame, the Council of Presidents voted to increase the conference exit fees to three times the annual operating budget. Currently this would equate to an exit fee of over $50 million.
Clemson Head Basketball Coach Brad Brownell:
"This is certainly another great step for the conference. Notre Dame is a premier academic and athletic institution that clearly fits the model we have in the ACC.
"In terms of basketball, it's another feather in the cap of the league. We've added another program that is really strong in basketball. They have a national reputation and tradition. It solidifies the fact that the ACC has become the premier league in college basketball. Mike Brey is an outstanding coach who does things the right way. He's stayed the course at Notre Dame and built a tremendous program. His program has sustained consistent success, which is something we all strive to do.
"It will be interesting to see if the addition of Notre Dame opens up avenues in recruiting to the Midwest. I believe we will be able to recruit even more in the Chicago area and in the state of Indiana, places where Notre Dame obviously has a strong name. Most importantly, Notre Dame's addition is going to bring more exposure of the ACC to those parts of the country due to the television package."
Clemson Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips on Notre Dame Joining the ACC
"This is a great addition to the ACC and credit must go to Commissioner John Swofford and the ACC Presidents, especially Jim Barker, who was significantly involved in this process.
"We appreciate the tradition and heritage of Notre Dame in all sports. They have one of the best all-around athletic programs in the nation. We look forward to their teams coming to Clemson, in particular when they come to Death Valley."
Clemson Head Football Coach Dabo Swinney on Notre Dame Joining the ACC
"This is a real positive for the ACC. It is a compliment to our league that a school of Notre Dame's stature, a school that had so many choices, selected the ACC.
"From a football standpoint, playing five games against ACC teams is a positive. It enhances the league's exposure every time you play Notre Dame. You can see where it helps Notre Dame football as well when it comes to bowl opportunities and scheduling. There are no negatives in this."
University of Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly
"Today is a great day for the University of Notre Dame and our athletics department, including the football program. Speaking strictly from a football standpoint, we have further solidified our future as an independent in college football, maintained our unique ability to schedule nationally and greatly improved our postseason bowl game options. I applaud Father Jenkins and Jack Swarbrick for this move. They have set our entire athletics department up for great success in the future."