Notre Dame Caught Off-Guard by Seven Schools Bolting Big East
South Bend, IN
In the aftermath of seven basketball-only schools' decision to leave the Big East, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbick described his university's situation to a child caught in a middle of a divorce.
Swarbick admitted the Irish were caught off-guard by the decision and have no idea whom to negotiate with for a streamlined exit following their announcement that they will compete in all sports in the ACC aside from football and hockey.
"There is a point where I can't have our teams at risk of not knowing what they're doing, and that's probably sooner rather than later," Swarbrick said.
The presidents of the seven, non-FBS schools -- DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall and Villanova - have unanimously voted to leave the Big East and pursue a new basketball framework.
According to Swarbrick, no exit fee was discussed with the Big East, which requires a 27-month waiting period following a decision to leave.
The Irish will play five ACC teams a year in football as part of a scheduling agreement that is expected to start in the 2014 season.
However, Notre Dame needs answers soon to iron out their schedules accordingly for the rest of their sports that are shifting conferences.
"There's a whole bunch of things here that say it's got to get worked out," Swarbrick said. "The media contract expires, and if you're going to go sell a new media agreement, you've got to know what you're selling."
Swarbrick also declined to blame new Big East commissioner Mike Aresco for the recent fallout from the conference. Since Aresco was hired in August, lost Notre Dame's non-football sports, Louisville to the ACC and Rutgers to the Big Ten.
The Big East responded by adding Tulane in all sports and East Carolina in football, the former prompting the basketball schools' recent announced exit.
"I don't think anybody could've predicted this," Swarbrick said. "No one could've foreseen it."
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