While Notre Dame and the ACC have already officially announced their union, the details and fine print of the expansion move are still being worked out. The Irish are still unsure when they will be released from their obligations to their current conference, the Big East.
Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune spoke with ACC commissioner John Swofford, who indicated that the ball was out of his court at the moment:
"I don't have any reason to be optimistic or pessimistic," Swofford told the Tribune in a phone interview Thursday. "The only thing we can control is being ready for it, and we are ready for it and would love to see them here as soon as possible. But we understand that is really not the ACC's decision."
But while both parties are still unsure of the Irish's arrival, each side is already down the road preparing for the transition. Notre Dame and the ACC have started to put together the framework for a football schedule that is supposed to feature five ACC schools by 2014. The conference has also already initiated renegotiation of a media rights deal with ESPN, a contract that's expected to be heftier with the Fighting Irish now on board.
Swofford indicated that he thought the media negotiations would go smoothly, and that Notre Dame is already in a good position with a few ACC schools traditionally on the football schedule. Now, it's just a matter of working out the exit with the jilted Big East.