ACC, Notre Dame Aims For 2020 Soccer Membership

The Atlantic Coast Conference and Notre Dame are considering whether the Fighting Irish will give up their cherished football independence to play as a member of the league in the 2020 season that has been questioned by the coronavirus pandemic.

Two people involved in ACC discussions about scheduling for next season told The Associated Press on Friday that ACC is seeking an 11-game schedule that would include 10 conference games and will begin on September 12. Other models are also being considered.

Under the 10 plus one plan, Notre Dame would play a full ACC schedule, the people told AP, speaking on condition of anonymity because talks are still ongoing and details have not been released. It remains to be determined whether those games would count in the rankings and whether the Irish would be eligible to participate in the ACC championship game, and would be eligible for the guaranteed conference venue at the Orange Bowl. The final decision could be due to how revenue is shared between the conference and the school, one of the people said.

ACC university presidents will make the last call in a programming template. A meeting of the presidents is scheduled for Wednesday, one of the people said.

Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick declined to comment when the AP contacted him via text message. A request for comment from the ACC was not immediately answered. The online sports network Stadium first reported that Notre Dame could play as an ACC team this season.

In 132 years of playing soccer, the historic Notre Dame show has never competed in a conference, and its fans appreciate the status of the Irish as independent footballers. The private Catholic school in South Bend, Indiana, independently runs a national program as the foundation for its brand.

Giving up on that is not something Notre Dame would take lightly, even for a season.

Notre Dame has been a member of the ACC since 2014 for all sports except soccer and hockey. The Irish have had a programming agreement with the ACC in football under which Notre Dame plays five or six games per season against ACC teams.

The Irish had six games scheduled against ACC teams this season, but the pandemic has forced conferences and schools to come up with alternative plans for 2020. Big Ten and Pac-12 have already announced that they will play only conference games this season. That cost Fighting Irish three games. ACC Miami and Virginia Tech schools also lost games without conferences due to the Big Ten decision.

The ACC aims to have a new schedule set for next week.

One hurdle that needs to be cleared for Notre Dame to play as an ACC member this season is revenue sharing.

Notre Dame has its own television deal with NBC and its own revenue-sharing deal with the College Football Playoff. One person said whether ACC would get a share of that revenue for this season has yet to be resolved.

Notre Dame also receives some money from ACC network distributions.

The ACC receives $ 66 million annually to share among its College Football Playoff members as part of its Orange Bowl deal. The ACC champion, or another ACC team if their champion is in the playoffs, is guaranteed a place in the Orange Bowl.

Notre Dame typically has access to many of the ACC bowl draws, but not the Orange Bowl. CFP’s annual Notre Dame payout, even if it doesn’t play in the semifinals or another New Year’s Six Bowl, is $ 3.19 million.

Additionally, a conference receives $ 6 million for each team it places in the semifinals and $ 4 million for each team it places in the non-semifinal New Year’s Six game.


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