The ACC’s decision to add Notre Dame as a full-time member in all sports except football and hockey has been met with an overwhelmingly positive response in College Park.
“It’s a great addition to the conference,” Maryland Athletic Director Kevin Anderson said Thursday. “Any time you can get a university with the history and the tradition and the aura that Notre Dame brings, it’s a great thing for the ACC and it’s a great thing for college athletics.”
According to Anderson, “this thing happened pretty quickly.” Notre Dame will become the conference’s 15th member. The Fighting Irish will play five football games each year against ACC foes, a rotation that will begin during the 2014-15 season.
“I wish they were all in for football,” football Coach Randy Edsall said during the weekly ACC teleconference. “For the overall good of the league, it’s a quality institution and a quality program.”
For Terrapins men’s lacrosse Coach John Tillman, the ACC will see a spike in competition, given that Notre Dame — which was national runner-up in 2010 and has made three Final Four appearances — will join a conference that already has Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and Duke.
“I heard some rumblings a few days ago, and we heard some last year that would have made sense, so we had known it was a possibility,” Tillman said. “Digesting it, it’s obviously another quality opponent to join our league. I think it speaks to the quality and to the depth of our league. All six teams are very talented and well coached. I think it will motivate us keep working hard, and challenge us to go into the conference every year and try to be successful.”
The ACC will now have six men’s lacrosse teams, enough for the conference champion to receive an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament. The Terps have only faced Notre Dame in two NCAA tournament games, and not since Tillman arrived in College Park two years ago.
“Instead of having just four or five teams, we’d have six and be a legitimate conference in terms of how we’re looked at the automatic qualifier,” Tillman said. “You certainly have to look at your schedule now, realize that these are five really difficult games, and we have to schedule strategically now. There are some things to take into consideration, but we’ll manage them. Somehow, some way we’ll figure out a way around it.
“I think as a coach and as a players, you can remind them, maybe when it’s not going well or you don’t have as much energy, just remember who we’re playing against. You have to keep working hard today, because I’m sure the competition is.”
In addition to the decision to add Notre Dame, the ACC school presidents voted to raise the conference exit fee to $50 million, an increase of more than 100 percent from the previous fee. Allan Bense, chairman of the Florida State Board of Trustees, told Seminoles Web site WarChant.com that both Florida State and Maryland voted against the move.
Maryland President Wallace D. Loh did not return messages seeking comment on the dissenting vote.