News that The Notre Dame university is joining the ACC in all sports but football is yet another ripple in the never ending college realignment saga. How has this happened to The Big East?
Texas director of athletics, and de factor Big 12 commissioner, DeLoss Dodds told Kirk Bohls of the Austin-American Statesman today, "I was disappointed. But I thought if the ACC offered the same things we had offered, they’d take the ACC because Boston College, Syracuse and Pittsburgh are long-term friends. They landed in a great spot.”
Even though South Bend, Ind. is not exactly LA and the Irish grow increasingly irrelevant, their football team remains a major catch. Thank NBC for that. Notre Dame football is like much of NBC's other programming - garbage disguised as Must C TV.
The Irish have made it clear they remain better than everyone else, and have no interest in sharing any of their precious NBC money. They shouldn't.
Even though NBC remains heavily invested in sports and needs programming, you do have to wonder how much longer the Irish can remain a national punchline and not be a "big time" program before NBC says, "Let's buy another school." When does the BCS ask, "Why do these losers get a pass?"
If this day ever is to occur, and it may not, Dodds would be wise to keep the lines of communication open just in case. Don't believe any of the contracts that schools sign with conferences these days. There is always an "exit fee" that can either be paid in full, or negotiated down.
The Big 12 has already said it will allow one school to have its own TV deal, so that precedent is set should Notre Dame want its mighty football team to join a league.
Dodds and his friends would be a perfect locale.
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