Notre Dame to leave the Big East

The University of Notre Dame announced its departure from the Big East Conference Wednesday and stated its intention to join the Atlantic Coast Conference in all sports except football. Notre Dame is working with the Big East and the ACC to develop a timetable for the transition, according to a Notre Dame press release.

The Big East generally requires a 27-month notice from schools hoping to leave the conference.

Notre Dame’s departure from the Big East for the ACC follows similar news from the University of Pittsburgh and Syracuse University, both of which left for the ACC last September. West Virginia University also left the Big East to join the Big 12.

At the same time, the Big East has been working to add conference members. The University of Memphis, the University of Central Florida, the University of Houston and Southern Methodist University are slated to join the league as all-sports members in 2013-14. Navy will join the conference for football in 2015.

In response to the news, Marquette Vice President and Director of Athletics Larry Williams released the following statement:

“Conference realignment is a reality in the current climate of intercollegiate athletics. The (Big East) Conference has certainly not been immune to this and has pursued plans to strengthen its ranks and maintain its tradition of excellence. We at Marquette are committed to the (Big East) and solidifying our place as one of the nation’s elite programs.”

The Big East issued a statement Wednesday from Commissioner Mike Aresco, which acknowledged the news and wished the 17-year member Notre Dame success in the future.

“However, Notre Dame’s departure does not change our plans,” Aresco said. “We have prestigious institutions that are excited to be a part of the (Big East). We remain committed to making the (Big East) stronger than it has ever been.”