By David Teel
6:33 AM EDT, September 13, 2012
Based on email, Twitter and old-fashioned conversation, here are frequently asked questions about Notre Dame joining the ACC for sports other than football.
How does Notre Dame affect the television contract with ESPN the conference announced in May?
Commissioner John Swofford said renegotiation has started and that the league projects added value. He declined to speculate on how much.
The 15-year ACC-ESPN deal was originally worth approximately $3.6 billion, or about $17 million annually for each of the conference’s 14 full-time members. Home football games against the Fighting Irish – five every two years – plus Notre Dame’s basketball presence will create the new revenue.
The Irish and their television partner, NBC, will retain rights to their home football games against the ACC, also five every two years.
When will Notre Dame begin playing five ACC teams each football season, and has the rotation of those games been determined?
The Irish hope to start in 2014, the season college football adopts its four-team playoff. And no, the rotation, which will include all 14 full ACC members, has not been set.
One hunch: Virginia Tech will play Notre Dame sooner rather than later to give Frank Beamer the opportunity to coach against the Irish before retiring.
In 25-plus seasons at his alma mater, Beamer has faced Southern California, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas, LSU, Alabama, Miami, Florida State and Michigan. The most prominent absences are Notre Dame and Ohio State – the Buckeyes and Hokies are contracted to play in 2014 and ’15.
With Notre Dame eligible to represent the ACC in bowls other than the Orange and playoff games, how will the Irish share in conference bowl revenue?
Notre Dame will receive one-fifteenth of the league’s money from those secondary bowls. For example, the ACC’s most recent federal tax return available, for fiscal 2010-11, showed $36.7 million in bowl revenue, approximately $20 million of which came from the BCS.
So in that case, Notre Dame’s take would have been one-fifteenth of $16.7 million, or just north of $1 million.
Keep in mind, however, that having Notre Dame in its secondary bowl pool should allow the ACC to land more lucrative postseason tie-ins.
Regardless, this revenue is hardly game-changing for either party.
Could Notre Dame knock my favorite ACC team down a rung on the bowl ladder?
If the Irish are ranked higher or are within one victory, yes. Though I wouldn’t be surprised to see a clause that prohibits such a scenario if the ACC team defeated Notre Dame during the regular season.
When will Notre Dame join for sports other than football?
The Irish prefer 2013-14, but Big East bylaws require 27 months’ notice before departing. As with the impending moves of Syracuse and Pittsburgh from the Big East to the ACC, expect negotiations for an early withdrawal.
When does the ACC’s new $50-million exit free take effect and does it apply to Notre Dame?
Immediately and yes.
How will this affect the ACC basketball tournament format?
Not much. Adding Notre Dame as a 15th team means a third opening-round game Wednesday as opposed to two. Otherwise, the bracket will be the same as planned with 14.
So Wednesday’s games will pit seeds 10 vs. 15, 11 vs. 14 and 12 vs. 13. Those three winners will join seeds 5-9 in Thursday’s four second-round games.
The top four seeds enjoy a bye until Friday’s quarterfinals.
Does adding Notre Dame increase the likelihood of the tournament being staged in the Northeast?
Good chance, with the most likely venue the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn, home next season of the NBA’s Nets. The ACC already has accepted bids on the event for 2016-21 and will discuss them at next month’s fall meetings in Boston.
What about regular-season basketball scheduling with 15 teams?
Swofford said teams most likely will play 18 conference games and have two partners they play twice every year. That means facing two other schools, on a rotation, twice, and 10 schools once – five home and five away.
Here are some possible partners, emphasis on possible. Many ways to approach this.
Boston College – Virginia Tech and Syracuse.
Clemson – Florida State and Georgia Tech.
Duke – North Carolina and Wake Forest.
Florida State – Clemson and Miami.
Georgia Tech: Clemson and Miami.
Maryland -- Pittsburgh and Virginia.
Miami – Florida State and Georgia Tech.
North Carolina – Duke and N.C. State.
N.C. State – North Carolina and Wake Forest.
Notre Dame: Pittsburgh and Syracuse.
Pittsburgh: Maryland and Notre Dame.
Syracuse: Notre Dame and Boston College.
Virginia: Virginia Tech and Maryland.
Virginia Tech: Boston College and Virginia.
Wake Forest: Duke and N.C. State.
How does Mike Brey’s basketball program fit in the ACC?
Almost perfectly. A suburban Washington native and former Duke assistant, Brey has guided the Irish to eight NCAA tournaments in 12 years, including the last three, and ACC membership should augment their recruiting not only on the Eastern Seaboard but also nationally.
The additions of Notre Dame, Pitt and Syracuse make the ACC college basketball’s premier conference with five programs – North Carolina, Duke, N.C. State, Maryland and Syracuse -- that have won national championships in the last 30 years.
“This strengthens the best basketball league in the country even more,” said Virginia Tech coach James Johnson, whose job just got harder.
In what other sports will Notre Dame most impact the ACC?
Since their most recent football national championship in 1988, the Irish have won three national titles in women’s soccer and one in women’s basketball. Notre Dame is also a men’s lacrosse power.
Women’s basketball is the bigfoot, with 17 consecutive NCAA tournament bids under Muffet McGraw. The Irish lost the national championship game the past two seasons.
Amusing quote, by the way, from Irish lacrosse coach Kevin Corrigan, whose father, Gene, graduated from Duke, served as athletic director at Virginia and Notre Dame and preceded Swofford as ACC commissioner.
“I had uncles that went to Maryland,” Corrigan said. “My father went to Duke, coached at Virginia, worked at Virginia and Notre Dame and ultimately at the ACC office. We are filthy in the ACC. It's been part of my life growing up. Along with Notre Dame, I can't think of a group of schools that I'd rather be associated with. It's just a thrill for us.”
Is full ACC membership for Notre Dame inevitable?
School officials say absolutely not, and I have no reason to dispute them. My guess is neither athletic director Jack Swarbrick nor president Rev. John Jenkins want the Irish to abandon football independence on their watch. But they won’t be in power forever, and future changes to football’s postseason could force Notre Dame’s hand.
So unless the Irish do accept full membership, there’s no need for the ACC to expand further? No need for realignment chatter?
I can be reached at 247-4636 or by e-mail at email@example.com. Follow me at twitter.com/DavidTeelatDP
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