Notre Dame Fighting Irish yet to make decision to join Big Ten
July 3, 2022
College football is always experiencing developments, one of which is related to the expansion of the Big Ten conference in 2024. Currently, the conference is interested in making the Notre Dame Fighting Irish one of the teams in the Big Ten 2024.
According to a report released by CBS Sports, the Big Ten is currently waiting for an answer from the Irish. Furthermore, the Big Ten will expand its expansion to the West Coast. However, until now the Irish officials have not said anything openly regarding their interest in the Big Ten.
In addition, the Oregon Ducks and Washington Commanders are also eager to join the conference. Meanwhile, the USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins had already joined the conference earlier.
Reason behind Irish's delayed response to Big Ten
Moving to the Big Ten conference was not an easy matter for the Irish. This relates to Ireland's position as part of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and its television contract agreement with NBC.
The Irish are an Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) college in all major sports except football. The Irish were unable to join the ACC in full because it was under a television contract with NBC.
Before becoming a part of the ACC, the Irish had always been an independent program and had done well to 11 national championships, and two trips to the College Football Playoffs. However, in 2020, the Irish decided to join the ACC and this is a decision they made after a century of playing independently.
The decision that prompted the Irish to join the ACC was because all leagues played a conference-only slate due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the ACC at that time, the Irish had won a title in a competition that had never been won before.
Based on the ESPN report, the television contracts agreement with NBC is valid until 2036. It is reported that if the Irish wanted to move its entire program including football, to the Big Ten, the college would most likely have dire consequences. Moreover, if the Irish wanted to play elsewhere, the college would pay a penalty of $150 million or more.
However, another report said that the Irish were able to avoid part of the deal. This is because the college soccer program will not be part of the deal. Even if they still have to pay some fees, the Irish will be able to pay them back in a year or two in the Big Ten.
The Irish to consider joining the Big Ten
Pete Sampson, a staff writer for The Athletic covering Notre Dame football, shared his views. The long-term future is one of the key reasons why the Irish are likely to join the Big Ten. The Irish will remain competitive both on and off the field by entering the conference.
Sampson also mentioned that, recently, the Irish were having financial problems. Meanwhile, the ACC is starting to fall behind regarding the changing landscape of college football, so it cannot guarantee the future of football. Therefore, joining the Big Ten could be a solution for the Irish as they may receive access to national championships and the Olympics.