Notre Dame AD calls Big 12 discussions 'normal'

Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick downplayed talk about the school leaving the Big East. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Is Notre Dame thinking about leaving the Big East Conference for the Big 12?

While Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds told Tuesday he’s fine with a 10-member Big 12, he added the league talked to Notre Dame about joining the conference. Dodds said the discussions date as far back as August 2010.

Notre Dame currently competes as a member of the Big East in all sports except football. The football program remains an independent.

Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick talked about Dodds' comment here Wednesday at the Big East spring meetings.

On the Big 12 discussions:

“I think a little bit more was made out of DeLoss’ comment than might be warranted. But it’s represented. I talked to my peers a lot. It’s not that it’s conferences. It’s fellow ADs. And it’s the nature of the business. I have extraordinary admiration from him. [I] learned an awful lot from him talking to him over the years, so it’s fairly routine. And the focus tends to be discussions with other ADs not conferences.

On his confidence in the Big East’s stability given it lost four teams and a commissioner in a year's time:

“I have great confidence in it. I think the atmosphere reflected here, the focus on the future leadership of the conference are all steps towards that, the work that was done to replace the departing members. So that’s all good stuff. You know I don’t think there’s any reason to not be optimistic about their future.”

On Notre Dame men’s basketball coach Mike Brey saying the university has a contingency plan just case the landscape changes:

“One of the resolutions for us is postseason football and what will it look like. That process is coming near to closure. And that’s an important thing for all us, but Notre Dame in particular, getting a better handle on that. We will see where that goes.”