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Notre Dame backs out of two games against Texas

The second leg of the home-and-home series won't be happening.

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

The match up between two of the most marquee programs in college football won't happen in 2019 and 2020, as the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have cancelled two games against the Texas Longhorns.

The cancellation will cost Notre Dame $150,000 and won't impact the games scheduled in 2015 and 2016.

What happened?

There are differing stories. Texas beat writer Mike Finger tweeted on Thursday night that the move to the ACC put the series in peril, presumably because of the need to play a full conference slate instead of adding a number of games to the traditional schedule played by the Fighting Irish.

However, Chip Brown of Horns Digest is telling a different story, asserting that some bad blood between new Texas athletic director Steve Patterson and longtime Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick resulted in the cancellations:

While the AD at Arizona State, Patterson publicly called out Notre Dame on a sports talk radio show in April of 2013 for trying to cancel the game the Irish will play at Sun Devil Stadium Nov. 8 this season.

Patterson went on Phoenix radio station XTRA Sports 910 AM in April of 2013 and said:

"The school didn't have the courtesy to have the athletic director (Jack Swarbrick) call the athletic director at ASU to discuss it. They had their PR guy call (ASU's media relations office) to give us a message Friday afternoon while everybody was out of town at the Final Four.

"At least in the little Catholic town I grew up in (Beaver Dam, Wisconsin) the good nuns wouldn't have thought that was a very appropriate way to honor your word."

The sports information director for Notre Dame denied the accusation to Brown, but if the report is true, it's not something that the Fighting Irish would ever admit publicly.

In any case, the Horns now have openings on the schedule in 2019 and 2020 days after adding high-profile games against the Michigan Wolverines in 2024 and 2027.