As if Notre Dame wasn’t annoying enough


The University of Notre Dame’s football program has no plans to give up its independence anytime soon. Despite the trend of teams joining conferences for various benefits, Notre Dame remains committed to its independent status. This includes both its conference affiliation and its broadcasting deal with NBC.

Notre Dame’s broadcasting deal with NBC was recently extended through the 2029 season. As part of the extension, there is a provision for a yearly documentary series on the Peacock streaming service. This series will follow the team throughout the season, similar to HBO’s popular show “Hard Knocks.” It will provide fans with an inside look at the team and its journey.

The decision to stay independent despite the benefits of joining a conference or aligning with a specific network is a conscious choice by Notre Dame. According to the university’s Athletic Director, Jack Swarbrick, they value their independence because they “value the university.” It’s not about financial or competitive advantages for Notre Dame but rather about preserving the unique identity and tradition of the university.

One factor that influenced Notre Dame’s decision to stick with NBC was the network’s acquisition of broadcast rights for the Big 10 conference. Swarbrick mentioned that this played a role in their decision, as it gave them a sense of connection to the broader college football landscape. Despite being on an independent island, Notre Dame felt more connected through NBC’s expanded college football coverage.

Swarbrick, who is set to step down as Notre Dame’s Athletic Director in 2024, has found an ally in his successor, Pete Bevacqua. Bevacqua shares Swarbrick’s belief that independence is the best path forward for both the football program and the university as a whole. This alignment of views ensures that Notre Dame’s independence will continue beyond Swarbrick’s tenure.

Notre Dame’s commitment to staying independent is not only a testament to the university’s values but also a statement of its confidence in its football program. Despite the challenges and limitations that come with independence, Notre Dame remains a powerhouse in college football. The team’s loyal fanbase and rich history make it one of the most iconic programs in the sport.

While the future of college football may continue to evolve, Notre Dame’s commitment to its independence remains unwavering. The team’s partnership with NBC and the upcoming documentary series on Peacock will provide fans with even more access and insight into the storied program. Notre Dame football will continue to thrive as an independent, preserving its rich tradition and unique identity for years to come.

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