Last week, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier opened his media session with a meandering “state of the union” address that touched on everything from scheduling to coaches paying players out of their own pockets to the fact that Notre Dame should be forced to join a conference. In fact, Spurrier said the league’s coaches voted unanimously in Destin that the Fighting Irish should join a league. (As if the SEC’s coaches have any say on what deals a Midwestern university can cut for itself.)
Well, ACC commissioner John Swofford has responded to Spurrier. Notre Dame, of course, will join that league a member in every sport but football. The Irish will, however, play five ACC teams per year on the gridiron. Swofford’s take on Notre Dame:
“It’s the right thing to do at this point in time. It was a unanimous decision by our institutions and a very positive one that has already benefited us without question…
I’m really pleased and I know the vast majority of people in our league are pleased that ND is part of the ACC family under the conditions they are currently under.”
Hey, if there weren’t something special about Notre Dame, the Irish wouldn’t be able to cut special deals for themselves. Other folks might not like it and it might not be “fair,” but as long as television networks, the College Football Playoff power brokers, and conferences like the ACC see great value in the Notre Dame brand, Notre Dame will continue to wield unique power.