Maryland joining Big Ten; Rutgers may not be far behind
TribLIVE Sports Videos
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Choosing to look toward the future rather than honor the past, Maryland joined the Big Ten on Monday, bolting from the ACC in a move driven by the school's budget woes.
Rutgers is expected follow suit by Tuesday, splitting from the Big East and making it an even 14 schools in the Big Ten, though Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany wouldn't confirm that.
Maryland was a charter member of the ACC, which was founded in 1953. Tradition and history, however, weren't as important to school president Wallace D. Loh as the opportunity to be linked with the prosperous Big Ten.
“By being a member of the Big Ten Conference, we are able to ensure financial stability for Maryland athletics for decades to come,” Loh said at a news conference with Delany and athletic director Kevin Anderson.
Loh and other school officials involved in the decision decided that the potential money to be made in the Big Ten was more significant than the $50 million exit fee and the tradition associated with belonging to the same conference for 59 years.
“I am very aware that for many of our Terps fans and alumni, their reaction is stunned and disappointed. But we will always cherish the memories, the rivalries, the tradition of the ACC,” Loh said. “For those alumni and Terp fans, I will now say this: I made this decision as best as I could ...”
Maryland eliminated seven sports programs earlier this year, and Loh said the shift to the Big Ten could provide enough of a windfall to restore some of those sports.
Delany said Maryland's entry was approved unanimously by the conference's 12 presidents.
“Quite honestly, they were giddy,” Delany said.
Penn State AD Dave Joyner also is pleased.
“Penn State welcomes the University of Maryland to the Big Ten Conference with tremendous enthusiasm,” he said.
Maryland will become the southernmost member of the Big Ten starting in July 2014. It gives the Big Ten a presence in the media market of Washington. D.C.
Rutgers, in New Brunswick, N.J., and about 40 miles south of New York City, puts the Big Ten in the country's largest media market and most heavily populated area.
“We realize that all of the major conferences are slightly outside of their footprint,” Delany said. “We believe that the association (with Maryland) is one that will benefit both of us.”
For Rutgers and Maryland, the move should come with long-term financial gain. The Big Ten reportedly paid its members $24.6 million in shared television and media rights revenues this year.
Delany said demographics were a huge part of this decision. The population isn't growing as quickly in the Big Ten's Midwestern footprint as it is in other areas of the country, and it has hampered the Big Ten's ability to recruit, especially in football, its signature sport. The Big Ten felt it needed to change that.
“We think demographics have fueled our growth the last 100 years,” Delany said. “...What we're doing is not creating a new paradigm, we're responding to a new paradigm but for very kind of historic reasons. We understand that success requires a dynamic involvement with rich demographics.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Steelers will make small strides this season
- Not to be left behind, speedy Steelers are on the fast track in NFL
- Starkey: Bucs still battlin’
- The IRS scandal: Do the Lois Lerner emails still exist?
- Steelers have plenty of new faces at wide receiver
- Monroeville firefighters hope hot photo calendar will help raise money
- WPIAL coaches, QBs have concerns about using newly-approved footballs
- Poll: Parents uncomfortable with youth football
- Arizona Uzi shooting that accidentally killed instructor ‘just stupid’
- Why Steelers will — or won’t — snap out of their funk
- Edible insects a boon to Thailand’s farmers