The news of Notre Dame’s inclusion into the ACC represents a landmark day for college sports, the Atlantic Coast Conference, and Notre Dame. As the commissioner of the ACC stated yesterday in a press release, this move continues the vision the conference has for the present and future.
“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.”
While some pundits have talked about the negatives of the deal — no ACC football for Notre Dame, too much power to one school outside of a conference, and the thought of Swofford and Co. being used by an institution — the bottom line remains: Notre Dame makes the ACC better.
Just take a look at some of the out of conference games that the ACC football members play on a yearly basis. Replace five of those dates with Notre Dame and exposure and respectability. The only time Georgia Tech has hosted College Gameday was when Notre Dame traveled to Atlanta. That isn’t a coincidence.
Notre Dame isn’t part of the ACC football landscape the way Miami and Boston College are, but you can make the case they just added more to the league than almost anyone else already provides.
The agreement is different — strange in a way — but it makes sense for both parties.
The Atlantic Coast Conference is stronger today than it was last week.