Yesterday, we covered all the possibilities about a possible 12th member in the Big Ten. Well, a few schools have commented in the past two days, with Rutgers saying it was a proud member of the Big East and Missouri not exactly committing either way.
But the school everyone is watching is Notre Dame, and Notre Dame Athletics Director Jack Swarbrick opened the discussion yesterday by publicly saying Notre Dame wasn't interested, the Chicago Tribune reports. A smart bet is that Swarbrick's comments won't come close to stopping speculation.
"Our strong preference is to remain the way we are," Swarbrick told the Tribune. "Independence is a big part of the tradition of the program and our identity. We'd sure like to try to maintain it."
It only helps that Notre Dame has a sweet television contract with NBC, a deal that pays the school $9 million a season. But Swarbrick asserted that Notre Dame's lack of interest is more about the school's desire to maintain its independence.
"All of this has a lot more to do with our priorities than it does with business issues," Swarbrick told the Tribune. "Our independence is tied up in a lot of the rivalries we have. We play Navy every year and have the tradition of USC weekends. Frankly, it works pretty well to play USC in October at home and in November at their place."
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