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Irish to stay in Big East through 2013-14 season

– Notre Dame will stay in the Big East for at least one more season.

Athletic director Jack Swarbrick said Thursday the university would like to leave the Big East for the Atlantic Coast Conference before the required 27 months’ notice for departing members but was unable to reach an agreement to do so before next season.

“We’ve said all along we would try to develop a timetable for leaving earlier because we think it’s in both parties’ interest. That just hasn’t happened,” he said.

Swarbrick said because no agreement has been made to leave before next season, the Irish needed to move ahead as part of the Big East for 2013-14 so coaches could begin putting together schedules.

Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey first brought up the subject during his teleconference Thursday, saying that one reason the university decided to remain in the Big East another season is it believes the seven Catholic schools that have decided to leave and form their own league will remain in the Big East next season.

“I feel strongly that the Catholic schools are going to be there with us. That’s one of the reasons we decided to sit tight,” Brey said. “It looked like the Catholic schools were not going to be able to formulate this league that they’re going to put together by next season. Now I think anything could happen. Could they put it together in the next six weeks? I mean nothing would shock me.”

Swarbrick said that if the seven Catholic schools left before next season, Notre Dame could reconsider its decision.

Brey said he believes those schools will stay another season.

“But I think we feel that they’re going to be in there, we’re going to be in there, so the last hurrah is going to be next year, not this year,” he said.

Swarbrick said, though, that even that isn’t definite. The school announced in September it would be leaving for the ACC – football remaining an independent – meaning the 27-month notice doesn’t expire until 2015.

But Swarbrick said the Irish would like to leave after 2013-14.

Big East associate commissioner John Paquette declined to comment Thursday.

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