Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Michigan has no plans to stop playing ND
By ESPN.com staff
CHICAGO -- Back in 2007, Michigan and Notre Dame announced a continuation in their annual football series from 2012-31.
Michigan athletics director Dave Brandon said Wednesday that a contract for the extension hasn't been signed, but he has no plans to adjust the rivalry series with Notre Dame. Michigan will host Notre Dame in 2011 in the first ever night game to be played at Michigan Stadium. The two schools will take a break in 2018 and 2019, but plan to meet in every other season until 2031.
"We don't really have a contract right now," Brandon said. "We announced we had kind of reached a meeting of the minds for a 20-year extension with the potential for a two-year hiatus, but that was never codified into a contract. That was what I was handed when I came into this job. So what we're going to need to do with Notre Dame is sit down and hammer out some specifics."
Brandon plans to work with Notre Dame athletics director Jack Swarbrick on finalizing a contract. Both men weren't in their current positions with Michigan and Notre Dame announced the 20-year extension.
Would Michigan ever stop playing Notre Dame every year?
"We love our rivalry with Notre Dame," Brandon said. "Never say never, but we've had a lot of discussions with Notre Dame about the future."
Many fans wonder why Big Ten teams continue to play Notre Dame after the Irish have rejected several chances to join the conference. Three Big Ten teams -- Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue -- play Notre Dame almost every season.
Would a boycott of the Irish make a statement to them?
"Words like boycott are silly," Brandon said. "I don't agree with that. I don't think it's going to accomplish anything helpful. The Notre Dame series is one that's really important to us and one that we would like to continue for a long time."