Blog Entry

Notre Dame football remaining independent

Posted on: December 8, 2011 1:50 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 1:54 pm

NEW YORK – Notre Dame to the ACC? Notre Dame to the Big Ten? How about Notre Dame to the Big 12 or SEC?

It’s not going to happen, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said Thursday.

The Irish plan to remain an independent in football and are confident with the future of the Big East after the league introduced five new members Wednesday. The majority of Notre Dame’s non-football schools compete in the Big East, which allows Notre Dame to be an independent in football.

However, there had been some speculation that because of the league's uncertainty, Notre Dame might be forced to join another conference in football.

“We’re thrilled with the announcement of the Big East’s new members and we think it delivers on the (league’s) stability,” Swarbrick told “It’s great news for the Big East and it’s a great home for us for most of our sports.”

The Big East announced Wednesday Boise State and San Diego State would join the league in football-only in 2013 and add Houston, UCF and SMU in all sports. By the Big East remaining together, it allows Notre Dame to compete as a Big East member in virtually all sports but football, while remaining a football independent.

“Father (John) Jenkins was trying to provide leadership to help the Big East navigate through this period of time,” Swarbrick said of Notre Dame’s president. “We welcome the new Big East members and we think it speaks to the future vitality and stability of the Big East.”

With the addition of Houston, UCF and SMU in 2013 and if West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse remain in the league until June 30, 2014 as scheduled, that means during the 2013-14 school year the Big East would have at least 19 basketball members.

“It doesn’t scare me,” Swarbrick said. “You could figure out a way to set up the schedule. The amount of time they’ve spent determining how many teams will play in the Big East tournament is another story. I think it’s manageable.”

Swarbrick said he would defer to the conference whether West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse should be allowed to leave a year early in 2013 when the new members are added.

The biggest question Swarbrick said he gets from the media and when he travels around the country at speaking engagements is whether the Irish will remain an independent in football.

He estimated he speaks each year at between 80-100 Notre Dame clubs or fundraisers in association with a Fighting Irish game.

“You can’t do a Q/A without one of those (questions about if Notre Dame is joining a conference),” Swarbrick said. “They (Notre Dame’s fan base) are pretty clear: they want status quo and national championships.

“It’s easy,” he joked.

Status quo as a football independent and national championships.

“But not in that order, that’s exactly right,” Swarbrick said.


Since: Aug 11, 2011
Posted on: December 8, 2011 9:40 pm

Notre Dame football remaining independent

7 and 5 is a power!?!!?! I guess I missed the last 30 years of college football.

Since: Jan 7, 2009
Posted on: December 8, 2011 8:28 pm

Notre Dame football remaining independent

Notre Dame football hasn't been relavent in what, 15 years? They have a winning season from time to time, but the last time ND had a legitimate shot at a BCS bowl on an every year basis, I was much, much younger. The only reason that Notre Dame stays independent is all the money they make fron NBC. And those ratings have been falling for years. My guess is that when this last contract with NBC is done, they won't be signing the Irish to another one. Then Notre Dame will suddenly be ready to join a conference for football.

Since: Oct 23, 2009
Posted on: December 8, 2011 8:18 pm

Notre Dame football remaining independent

Notre Dame is irrelevant and doesn't know it is absolutely correct. Their recruiting was hurt by many things and is only going to get worse. Texas becoming a power again after years of mediocrity. ND lost recruits there. Michigan is on its way back and OSU hiring Meyer just sealed their fate. They have to do something that gives them roads into Texas or recruiting down south and until they do they are just another midwest football team, just one with a great history.

Since: Jun 8, 2011
Posted on: December 8, 2011 8:05 pm

Notre Dame football remaining independent

Time for the BCS to dump the ND clause.

Willis, I agree with you, but now that they have added another football only school, it will never happen.  You do crazy things just for survival.  Personally, I would have told ND to pound sand.  ND is irrelevent and the last to know it.

Since: May 23, 2008
Posted on: December 8, 2011 5:27 pm

Notre Dame football remaining independent

Time for the BCS to dump the ND clause.

Since: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: December 8, 2011 4:23 pm

Notre Dame football remaining independent

KMurr in WA....... I guess you think you are hot stuff calling someone ignorant !!!  Until Notre Dame joins a BSC Conference by being ALL-IN, then ND is riding the BIG EAST coat-tails related to the football bowl system. Nothing more, nothing less !  It shows a weakness for the BIG EAST Conference, whereas, the SEC, ACC, B1G, PAC12 and BIG12 have said to ND either ALL-IN or ALL-OUT. Don't get me wrong All of these BCS Conferences would like to have ND, but only with equal justification to all of their conference members. So ride your high horse KMurr in WA, but there is not fairness to the other Big East football teams who are ALL-IN. You can twist your answer anyway you wish pertaining to ND in the BE.

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: December 8, 2011 3:46 pm

Notre Dame football remaining independent

Notre Dame would never join the Big East, even if they were forced to join a Conference.  The only way the irish will be forced to join a conference is if 4 or 5 "Super" Conferences of 16 teams evolve, and that is not going to happen anytime soon.  As far as BYU is concerned, they are in a different boat than the Irish are, BCS wise.  BYu has no "sweetheart" deal with the BCS, and are stuck in the Armed Forces Bowl if they quality for a bowl, but not a BCS Bowl.  Notre Dame has the opportunity to go to any Bowl that any Big East team is eligable to go to if they do not get a BCS Bowl Bid.

Since: Dec 8, 2011
Posted on: December 8, 2011 3:27 pm

Notre Dame football remaining independent

I don't think Iowan was bagging on ND. As you said, BYU is in largely the same boat as ND (OK, a smaller boat, but the same essential situation as independent with its own TV deal). I think Iowan was merely pointing out that the article was merely stating the obvious that of course ND is staying independent in football. It's not news, just like the sun coming up is not news each morning. ND will stay independent in football forever if it has any say in the matter, and it always will. I don't see anything on the horizon that would force ND into a conference. What folks don't realize is that ND is a national university, with a national fan base. The second you join a conference you become regional.  ND is not going to do that.  About the only possibility down the road that I could see for ND would be a loose conference-type situation where several independents could enter into scheduling agreements coupled perhaps with individual TV deals with the same network, and perhaps sharing bowl tie-ins to some degree. Other than something like that happening, I don't see ND FB joining a conference at any point in time.

Since: Nov 4, 2011
Posted on: December 8, 2011 3:12 pm

Notre Dame football remaining independent

Brilliant Iowan. I didn't think Buford could be outdone, but along you come. Doesn't BYU have the same exact setup now as ND? Oh, and weren't they just unwilling to give it up to fully join a conference and follow all the same rules as everyone else? Wow.

Since: Nov 4, 2011
Posted on: December 8, 2011 3:07 pm

Notre Dame football remaining independent

That is a very ignorant post Buford. The BE and ND both get something out of the relationship they have, or they wouldn't have it to begin with. One example is the Champs Sports Bowl pays out more to the BE because ND is in the rotation for it. The BE is enhanced by having ND in its conference for all other sports. ND benefits for obvious reasons. It is a relationship they are both happy with. A few blowhards like the UConn women's BB coach have spouted off (gee I guess he didn't like losing to ND in the tourney last year) and ND haters (I guess graduating athletes really bothers people) like to act like it was ND who is responsible for WV, Pitt, and Syr. chasing more money. Yea, those schools aren't responsible, its ND's fault.

I could just as easily post that the BE is riding ND's coattails. It wouldn't make any sense, but neither does your post. Get over your hate Buford. ND is going to keep on graduating its players, playing by the rules, and whatever other good things that you apparently are bothered by. You ND haters need to look in the mirror and figure out what that says about you.

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