Notre Dame Coach Likes Football Independence

Handful of schools included in rumors buzzing about Big Ten growth.

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The buzz surrounding the Big Ten Conference's possible expansion has grown louder than any other topic in college sports. Rumors are swirling. Colleges have their names tossed out frequently. But the coach at the school whose addition the Big Ten most covets doesn't want to talk about expansion, at least if his school is involved.

Notre Dame Football Coach Brian Kelly says he enjoys his team's football independence, the South Bend Tribune reports. Notre Dame football, which plays whichever teams it wants and has its own television deal with NBC, is a prime target of the Big Ten's efforts to expand. Adding the highly lucrative membership of Notre Dame would serve the purpose of expansion efforts—making money. Of course, the rest of Notre Dame's athletics teams compete in the Big East Conference, which makes the situation sticky. Either way, Kelly likes the way things are set up now.

"From my standpoint, being the head football coach at Notre Dame, there's nothing better than being an independent football school," Kelly told a crowd at a local banquet for student-athletes. "I know you're hearing all these rumors about the Big Ten and all these other things, but let me tell you one thing, the history ... the tradition of Notre Dame football is steeped in that independence."

So, that quote begs the question: How many more ways can Notre Dame tell the world that it isn't interested in the Big Ten?

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