SOUTH BEND, Ind., Sept. 12 (UPI) -- Notre Dame officials said Wednesday their athletics teams, except for football and hockey, are joining the Atlantic Coast Conference.
School officials said they have to work on a timetable for leaving the Big East Conference, which has had Notre Dame as a member since 1995, and moving to the ACC.
Notre Dame will remain a football independent but will schedule five ACC opponents each year for football games and will play each conference member at least once every three seasons. However, Notre Dame will be allowed to retain its football broadcast rights agreement with NBC.
The hockey team will join Hockey East. The ACC doesn't have a hockey championship.
"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 Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick said. "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 joins Pittsburgh and Syracuse in moving from the Big East to the ACC. Once the Fighting Irish join the ACC, the conference will have 15 members for most of its sports.
"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," the ACC Council of Presidents said in a 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."
Current ACC members are Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami (Fla.), North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. Pittsburgh and Syracuse are to join the league effective next July.