Everyone knows that Notre Dame has been an independent in college football since 1995, but a Big East team in all other sports. Now, the team is leaning towards joining the Big 12 for the rest of its sports, including basketball, but staying an independent for football.
Rivals.com University of Texas columnist Chip Brown has insider information on the rumor, saying that the team could announce the move by the end of the summer and begin playing Big 12 games immediately.
Here is what Brown said:
Notre Dame’s explanation to the Big East would be that the Big East is no longer the conference the Irish joined as a non-football member back in 1995, the sources said. Since the Irish joined, the Big East has seen Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College leave with Syracuse and Pittsburgh planning to join the ACC in two years.
Notre Dame’s athletic director Jack Swarbrick denied that there were any meetings or discussions on the matter, but did not rule out the possibility for a move. With the conference shakeups we’ve seen over the past few years (and will continue to see), it certainly wouldn’t be a shock.
There are two key factors here: how much Notre Dame wants out of the Big East and how much the Big 12 wants Notre Dame basketball.
If Louisville and Connecticut are to leave like West Virginia, Syracuse, and Pittsburgh already have, the Irish may feel more inclined to bail on the fleeting conference. However, Notre Dame basketball isn’t exactly the biggest draw, and the Big 12 may not want the school without its football program.
There is a lot to consider in this situation and its worth paying attention to over the next couple of months.