I know it’s a common theme for some that the Irish simply have to become a full-blown member of a football conference in order to maintain postseason eligibility, but as long as Notre Dame has a national following — and, like it or not, it certainly has that — it’s going to enjoy its unique status with the CFP.
And if you think an appeal to the school that’s it’s leaving money on the table by not joining some P5 conference as a full-fledged member would sway ND, you don’t understand either the mentality there, or the resources there. ($$)
If that means the forfeiture of tens of millions from media rights deals from conferences, Notre Dame will make that trade. Leaving $20 million or more on the table is not nothing. But if it’s the price tag on independence, Notre Dame will buy without reservation.
“The $20 million is significant,” Dunne said. “Think of the scholarships and the leveraging potential of $20 million, because that’s where it would go, it would go to scholarships.
“That means we have to get together and make up for it. We understand what $20 million after taxes is all about. But our independence is worth more.”
As for what getting together and making up for it means, well…
Next summer the school will conclude its current capital campaign, pitched as “Boldly Notre Dame” in fundraising efforts.
The campaign is expected to clear $4 billion.
As long as college football needs the commercial appeal of Notre Dame more than Notre Dame needs the commercial appeal of college football, the status quo will remain intact. The school can afford it.