Back in late July, as the COVID crisis had the nation in a tizzy, the ACC announced that Notre Dame football was being adopted as an ACC member for the 2020-21 season. It’s a move that made sense, considering the circumstances, but there is at least one ACC coach that would like a bigger commitment from the Irish.
Before we get to that, how about some background?
Notre Dame already had six football games scheduled against ACC teams as a quasi-member, a deal that has been in place since the 2014 season in a one-of-a-kind deal that has allowed the Irish to continue to be identified as an FBS Independent program. The league bringing Notre Dame in this fall provided a creative solution to allow the Irish to play a full slate of games instead of scrambling to fill open dates in games against originally scheduled opponents in Arkansas, Stanford and USC when leagues like the SEC and PAC-12 (and others) decided to play a league-only schedule to mitigate COVID risks.
Yesterday, a few days after Notre Dame’s double-overtime victory over Clemson, Pat Narduzzi was asked if he would like to see Brian Kelly and the Irish join the ACC on a permanent basis from a competitive standpoint. Narduzzi was 100% on board with that idea, however, to him it should be you’re either all in, or all out.
The sixth-year Pitt head coach also mentioned a boycott in his response.
“I hope they do. To me, it’s either you play with us or you don’t play with us. You know? You’d almost like to boycott them. But if you want to play in the ACC, come play in the ACC.”
“I’m not the commissioner. So that’s coach Swofford’s job to help out there. But to me, it’s either play or don’t play…and if you don’t want to play, let’s not give them five games. Let them go play BYU or whoever else they want to play. We shouldn’t be giving them games.”
Narduzzi then added, “They’re talented, and we’d love to have them in the ACC for sure.”
See Narduzzi’s full comments in the clip below.