In a bout of earnestness this week, University of Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds admitted that the conference had previously contacted Notre Dame about joining the Big 12.
It was widely rumored that the Big 12 had offered a spot to the Irish in the past, but Dodds finally admitted it in an interview to CBS Sportsline. If Notre Dame does decide to join, most likely, it would be for all sports except football. Dodds hopes that if Notre Dame joins for its other sports, it could still help the football conference by playing a few non-conference games against Big 12 teams.
Speaking on this issue, Deloss said, “Notre Dame has options. I think they love their position. I certainly think they can continue to do what they’re doing and do it well and be a major player. But they have options.”
No one could have said it better. This kind of talk happens every year. Any time a conference wants to add a big name team, Notre Dame is always the first to be mentioned. Notre Dame loves being in this position.
These athletic directors and conference commissioners need to stop kidding themselves. Notre Dame likes to hear its name in the news. It probably has no intention of every leaving the Big East (barring the complete destruction of the conference) and there’s just no reason to give up its independent status in football.
Besides it makes no sense for anyone to want Notre Dame’s other sports and be okay with not getting the football team. It’s the crown jewel of college sports. That would be like going to Ruth’s Chris and ordering a salad.
These athletic directors need to stop fawning over Notre Dame. Yes, there are positives of adding their teams, but it’s just not worth the effort of having to endlessly recruit them. Save the recruitment for the actual athletes.