In a move that makes me kind of yawn, Notre Dame has agreed to join the ACC in all sports except the one sport that every conference would love it to join: college football.
You can read all the particulars by clicking the link provided, but it's not really earth-shattering news. It's essentially the same deal that the Irish have had with the Big East for years. What would be earth-shattering is the Irish actually becoming a football member.
I know the Notre Dame brand brings prestige even in other sports because of the school's huge national recognition. But really, if the football program was eliminated tomorrow, would anyone care about any other Notre Dame sport? Would the pockets of fans that stretch across the entire country travel very far to see the men's basketball program, or the women's volleyball team? I'm having a hard time believing that they would.
To me, any agreement that the Fightin' Irish makes with a conference that includes every sport except football is heavily one-sided in favor of the folks at South Bend. If Notre Dame was forced to be independent in all sports, the non-football sports would most-likely die a quick death, and they know that. However, if Notre Dame were to actually join a conference in football, that conference could ask for the moon with regards to their television contract, and they would probably get it with some stars thrown in just because.
But, just like the Big East, the ACC doesn't have the (foot)balls to tell Notre Dame, "Either you're in all the way, or you're out in the cold."
Maybe one of these days, the Fightin' Irish will be relevant again in division I college football, and all the fuss that schools make about having their name attached to their conference will actually be justified.