September 12, 2012

Notre Dame to Join ACC; Big Implications for Men's, Women's Lacrosse

by Corey McLaughlin | | Twitter

The Fighting Irish will join the ACC in most sports, including men's and women's lacrosse, although a timetable for Notre Dame's move from the Big East has not yet been determined.
© John Strohsacker/

updated 09.12.12 at 3.48 p.m.

In a conference realignment move that significantly alters the college lacrosse scene, the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) on Wednesday announced Notre Dame has accepted an invitation to join the conference in all sports except football.

The ACC's announcement did not indicate when the move would be made, and reported Wednesday that the timing of Notre Dame's departure from the Big East is "very murky," according to a school official. The Big East currently requires members to provide 27 months notice although other schools have negotiated earlier exits, including Syracuse, which will join the ACC on July 1, 2013.

Notre Dame's move, when it does happen, would strengthen what are already widely considered the top men's and women's lacrosse conferences in the nation, while leaving the Big East without the Fighting Irish and Syracuse.

"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," Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said in a statement. "This will enable us 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."

Notre Dame would give the ACC a sixth member in men's lacrosse, with Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and Syracuse when the Orange joins for next season. The conference also would become eligible for an automatic berth into the NCAA tournament, reaching the six-team requirement needed.

"It means that year in and year out we're going to play the best schedule in the country," Notre Dame men's coach Kevin Corrigan said. "It means great rivalries with schools that are very similar to ours in so many ways. It means there's no impediment to us winning national championships and being one of the best programs in the country."

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