Kelly, Notre Dame "value independence"

Brian Kelly instructs his team during the Notre Dame Blue-Gold game on April 22, 2017 / WSBT Photo

Notre Dame has always been independent in football. Don't expect that to change anytime soon.

Brian Kelly spoke about the importance of Notre Dame's independence Wednesday to a group at the South Bend Rotary luncheon.

"We value our independence," Kelly told the crowd.

The comments come two days after a comment on social media by FOX Sports commentator Tim Brando suggesting that Notre Dame had entered talks with the ACC about joining the conference as a full member in football.

Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick quickly shot it down at the ACC meetings Tuesday, calling the rumors, "absolutely not true."

On Wednesday, Kelly echoed his boss' sentiments.

"I don't see us joining a conference," Kelly said. "My conversation with Jack Swarbrick have been pretty clear. There has not been any conversation about that."

Notre Dame and the ACC have a scheduling agreement to play an average of five football games per year. Games have been scheduled through the 2029 season. While Kelly admits there are several benefits to that relationship, he says the university remains committed to independence.

"Everybody in the athletic department other than football is benefiting greatly from that. We're benefiting from the relationship as well I should say. We have bowl tie-ins. We like playing those ACC games. There's a great regional dynamic there from a recruiting standpoint. But we value our independence."

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