The schools shun the Catholics versus Convicts nickname, but it highlights a high-profile history between the two programs.
The Atlantic Coast Conference announced Wednesday Notre Dame is joining the conference as a partial football member and full member in every sport except hockey. The Irish will play five football games against ACC schools every season.
The news was lauded by UM's leaders.
Miami Athletics Director Shawn Eichorst stopped by practice Wednesday morning to inform Hurricanes football coach Al Golden he might be seeing more of a traditional Hurricane rival.
The Oct. 6 meeting in Chicago between Miami and Notre Dame won't be the last.
“There will be a trend once we figure out — once everybody figures out — how the new rankings will be and how the strength of schedule is, there's going to be a new paradigm,” Golden said. “Everybody is going to have to make their schedules based on that because nobody is going to want to be left out because their schedule is too weak out of conference.
"And nobody is going to want to knock themselves out. I don't know where that medium is right now, but I know this: Our league is getting better. Our league is getting better top to bottom and it starts with quarterbacks.”
Miami plays at least one high-profile non-conference game a year. It has Florida on its 2013 schedule and Nebraska for a home-and-home in 2014 and '15.
UM men's basketball coach Jim Larranaga applauded the move.
“The best league in the country just keeps on getting better,” he said. “Notre Dame is a great addition to our conference because the ACC has always been about striving for excellence in the classroom and on the court.”
Eichorst also praised the move.
“The University of Miami is thrilled with the addition of the University of Notre Dame to the Atlantic Coast Conference,” he stated in a news release Wednesday. “Notre Dame is internationally recognized for its academics and athletics and its core beliefs and mission are in line with ACC member institutions. The news today further solidifies the ACC as one of the nation's premier conferences and Miami looks forward to welcoming the Irish to the league.”
Florida State leaders also celebrated Notre Dame's move, but they seemed torn when asked about the league's new steep fee.
The new figure is about three times the amount of conference distribution money each school receives annually from the ACC and ESPN. Currently, each school claims about $17 million a year. As a result, the exit fee, for now, is $50 million.
It is expected to increase.
“I think it's punitive,” new FSU board of trustees chairman Allan Bense said Wednesday afternoon. “I don't know how you can justify that number.”
While the buyout fee raised eyebrows, it still earned praise from school leaders.
“This is a real positive for our conference,” FSU AD Randy Spetman said.
FSU men's basketball coach Leonard Hamilton is bracing for a more competitive schedule with a team that has been to the NCAA Tournament the last two years. In 2011, the Seminoles blasted the Irish in the second round of the tournament in Chicago.
“It adds yet another, what I call, ‘800-pound gorilla' to our conference that will make it even more exciting,” Hamilton said.
He wasn't as worried as other FSU officials about the ACC's new exit fee.
“That obviously eliminates a lot of speculation that the schools in our conference will be poking around,” Hamilton said. “But more than anything else, what it says is that all 15 teams are committed to band together and move forward and make something even more special out of the ACC.
“It doesn't speak as much to people trying to lock you in, but the positive aspect of it is that we are now committed to letting everyone know that we're going to be ACC brothers together now and forevermore.”
FSU football coach Jimbo Fisher learned the big news seconds before his appearance on Wednesday morning's weekly ACC teleconference. He declined to comment until he learned more about the deal.
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