CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Notre Dame got everything it wanted and the Atlantic Coast Conference got Notre Dame.
The school announced Wednesday that it would join the ACC in all the conference’s sports except football, though it will play five games annually against league programs and have access to its non-BCS bowl tie-ins.
It’s unclear exactly when the Irish will leave the Big East for its non-football sports.
“I don’t think there’s out there a better situation than the situation we have,” said the Rev. John I. Jenkins, Notre Dame’s president.
“The ACC has allowed us to retain a tradition (of football independence) that’s so central to our identity in football while we’re joining a conference that athletically as well as academically fits Notre Dame perfectly.”
Jenkins and athletic director Jack Swarbrick attended a news conference Wednesday at North Carolina’s Kenan Stadium.
Notre Dame will play each ACC member at least once every three seasons.
The move will alleviate some of the challenges for a football independent of scheduling games and finding bowl openings with conference tie-ins gobbling up spots.
The ACC made an exception to its all-or-nothing requirement for schools to be full members and equally share revenue to get a deal done.
And Swarbrick said the ACC was the only conference Notre Dame entered into “substantive discussion” about joining.