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September 12, 2012

Notre Dame joins ACC, will play five games vs. ACC teams annually

The Fighting Irish are coming to play.

The Atlantic Coast Conference announced Wednesday that Notre Dame will join the league as a full member in every sport except football. Notre Dame will retain its football independence but will take on five ACC teams annually as part of the agreement.

"Notre Dame enhances the league's unique blend of public and private institutions that are international in scope. The collective alumni and fan bases cover the entire country with exceptionally strong roots up and down the Atlantic Coast," Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford said in the release announcing the news on Wednesday. The ACC Council of Presidents is currently meeting in Chapel Hill, N.C. "This is a terrific milestone in the evolution of the ACC and showcases tremendous solidarity and vision by our Council of Presidents."

FSU coach Jimbo Fisher declined comment on the situation during the ACC Coaches' Teleconference on Wednesday because he had no knowledge of the deal until coming on to the call around 10:50 a.m.

"I don't know the details of any one thing that's going on in this situation," Fisher said.

The new exit fee is also notable and should end speculation of Florida State eyeing a move to another conference: The ACC Council of Presidents voted to increase the exit fee to three times the annual operating budget that would equate to about $50 million. Swofford said that the buyout goes into effect "immediately" and Notre Dame is also on the hook for that fee if it would leave the league.

Swofford also said that the league has no plans to add a 16th team to the league in the future.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Notre Dame wants to be out of the Big East by the 2013-14 season although the league currently requires a 27-month exit clause.

Florida State last played Notre Dame in the Champs Sports Bowl last season, beating the Irish 18-14.

Warchant.com will update this story throughout the day.

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