Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick spoke candidly about the school’s independent status on Wednesday.

Swarbrick identified 3 key factors that will determine whether or not Notre Dame will ultimately join a conference:

  • Media partner
  • A path to an expanded College Football Playoff
  • Finding a home for Notre Dame’s olympic sports

Notre Dame is reportedly in negotiations to extends its television deal with NBC, which is set to expire in 2025. NBC is going to be a part of the Big Ten’s broader television deal going forward, which Swarbrick said is a positive thing for the Irish.

Big Ten and SEC programs are expected to make north of $100 million annually from its media rights partners in the near future. Notre Dame is reportedly seeking $75 million in a deal that would allow the school to maintain its independence.

College Football Playoff access is not expected to be an issue for Notre Dame. While college football power brokers continue to negotiate the details of an expanded playoff, both SEC commissioner Greg Sankey and Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren are on the record in favor of non-automatic qualifiers.

As for Notre Dame’s relationship with with the ACC, the Fighting Irish are believed to be bound to the conference’s grant-of-rights agreement in non-football sports until 2036.

Additionally, Notre Dame is reportedly not able to join a conference other than the ACC until that agreement expires. Last month at ACC Kickoff, commissioner Jim Phillips said he believes Notre Dame would join the ACC if it ultimately decided to join a conference.