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Reports: Irish ready to jump to ACC

Notre Dame's departure from the Big East to the Atlantic Coast Conference will happen a year earlier than expected, according to reports.

The Irish announced on Sept. 12 that they would join the ACC in everything except football and hockey, but the university had intended to play one more season in the Big East before the move.

That plan went out the window when the Big East dissolved when the Catholic 7 ­– DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall and Villanova – announced Friday it would split from the conference's football playing schools and form its own league.

Notre Dame will now join the ACC on July 1, the same day the Big East will split into two factions.

Notre Dame's decision to join the ACC for next season was first reported by Sports Illustrated. An announcement of the Irish's departure is expected at noon today, according to ESPN.

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.

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.

The ACC already made plans to bring Notre Dame into the conference, announcing a scheduling format Oct. 3 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 and 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 Catholic 7, which are 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 multiyear deal from the Fox Sports Network worth at least $3 million per school.

The current Big East, which will 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.

The Journal Gazette's Assistant Sports Editor Tony Krausz covers The University of Notre Dame. Krausz, a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and a native of St. Louis, has been assistant sports editor since October 2005. Prior to joining the JG, he worked at two papers in Mississippi covering high school and college athletics.

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