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Irish formally announce move to ACC

Notre Dame made a smooth transition from the Big East to the Atlantic Coast Conference on Tuesday.

The university announced in a news release that it will join the ACC in all sports except football and hockey on July 1.

Notre Dame had already made its intentions of joining the ACC known on Sept. 12, but the Irish had anticipated playing one more year in the Big East before the move.

That plan changed when the Big East dissolved with the Catholic 7 – DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall and Villanova – announcing Friday they would split from the conference's football-playing schools and form their own league.

"From the time of our decision to join the ACC we have stressed our commitment to ensuring that our departure was achieved in a collegial manner," Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said in the release. "This agreement realizes that intention and we are very grateful to the members of the Big East and commissioner Mike Aresco for helping to facilitate this orderly and timely transition."

Notre Dame's decision to join the ACC for next season was first reported by Sports Illustrated late Monday night.

The Irish's agreement to leave the Big East before the end of the 27-month notice they are required to give will be similar to the deal the Catholic 7 made with the conference, according to reports.

Notre Dame will not have to pay an early-exit fee, reported at $2.5 million, because it will not seek any of the Big East's exit and entrance fee revenue of about $110 million, ESPN reported. The Irish will take the NCAA tournament units to the ACC, as the Catholic 7 schools did, and receive a small portion of the Big East's cash reserves, with the conference's football-playing schools keeping most the $110 million.

Notre Dame's split from the Big East after 18 years was reached through "amicable and mutually respectful discussions" between the institutions, according to a statement from the Big East.

"This decision makes sense for the Big East," Big East commissioner Mike Aresco said in the statement. "In view of Notre Dame's expressed desire to join the ACC on an earlier timetable, the Big East and Notre Dame were able to arrive at an acceptable resolution.

"The Big East can now focus fully on its future alignment and rebranding efforts. I want to thank the Notre Dame administration and athletic director Jack Swarbrick for their efforts in moving toward this orderly transition. Notre Dame has been a valued member of the Big East and we wish them well."

The ACC already made plans to bring Notre Dame into the conference, announcing a scheduling format Oct. 3 for when the Irish as well as Pittsburgh and Syracuse join the conference.

Pitt and Syracuse were already set to leave the Big East and join the ACC after this season.

The ACC, which will be up to 15 members next season, will go to an 18-game conference schedule for men's and women's basketball. Teams will play a home-and-home series with two partners every season. They will play the other 14 games with two home-and-away rotating opponents, and five home-only and five road-only games.

Notre Dame's permanent home-and-home series partners are Boston College and Georgia Tech.

The Irish will also play five football games against ACC programs every year starting in 2014 as part of their agreement to join the conference.

The Irish hockey team will move from the Central Collegiate Hockey Association to Hockey East starting in the 2013-14 season.

The Catholic 7, which is expected to add Butler and Xavier as well as possibly Creighton, issued a statement Tuesday that it would keep the Big East name and "details about the expected broadcast media deal, season-ending tournament and additional members of the new conference will be announced in the near future."

ESPN reported the new Big East will receive a multi-year deal from the Fox Sports Network worth at least $3 million per school.

The current Big East, which will need to change its name by July 1, will have 10 schools remaining -- Cincinnati, Connecticut, Central Florida, Houston, Louisville, Memphis, Rutgers, SMU, Temple and South Florida.

But the league will lose two schools when Louisville departs for the ACC and Rutgers leaves for the Big Ten in 2014.