Notre Dame football has made it very clear that while conferences will come calling, they will all be told no for the foreseeable future.
In the late summer of 2023, it suddenly felt like Notre Dame football joining a conference was a foregone conclusion. Another round of shifts made it seem like either the ACC or the Big Ten would finally make an offer the Fighting Irish couldn’t refuse.
But if there were offers (and there were almost certainly overtures), Notre Dame football did say no. They’re the only sport that isn’t affiliated with either the ACC or the Big Ten, and after Saturday’s announcement, it certainly appears as though that will remain the deal.
The university and NBC announced a new contract extension just before the Golden Domers’ game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. The deal will keep Notre Dame football games exclusively on NBC through the 2029 season.
While specific dollar amounts were announced, it’s considered quite a lucrative deal. And it means the Irish can stay independent for as long as they want. With the deal with NBC eventually reaching 39 years, it’s safe to say it will eventually go to 49 years if both sides are interested.
Notre Dame football knows independence is key
By signing the new deal, the Fighting Irish have blazed a trail that shows how to juggle staying out of a conference, making a ton of money and still having success.
It allows for a level of self-determination that no other program in the country enjoys.
Of course, if the Big Ten or ACC comes calling with a money offer that is simply too good to turn down, the Notre Dame football team could change course. But the new contract indicates the higher ups in South Bend don’t believe that’s likely. And that’s a good thing.