Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Delany statement on Notre Dame/ACC move
By Adam Rittenberg
Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany issued the following statement to ESPN.com on Wednesday about Notre Dame's decision to join the ACC as a full member in all sports except football.
"Today’s announcement by the ACC that Notre Dame will join the conference to compete in all sponsored sports with the exception of football was not a surprise. Both the Big 12 and the ACC have openly expressed an interest in adding Notre Dame to their conference under such a condition.
"The announcement by the ACC is further indication that the tectonic plates underlying conference affiliation are still warm. As always, we will continue to monitor the landscape.
"We are very pleased with both our current conference membership and our conference structure."
The Big Ten twice tried unsuccessfully to lure Notre Dame, which has wanted to maintain its independence in football. Notre Dame has sought the same deal it got with the ACC with the Big Ten, but the Big Ten would not accept the Irish without full membership, including football. The Big Ten didn't strongly pursue Notre Dame during its most recent expansion push, never closing the door to the Irish but taking a position that if ND wants in, it has to show the interest.
The big question going forward is how Notre Dame's move to the ACC impacts the three regular football series with Big Ten schools: Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue. We hope to have more on this later today.