Maryland to join Big Ten; Rutgers reportedly will be next | College athletics
Maryland joined the Big Ten Conference, bolting from the Atlantic Coast Conference in a move driven by the school's budget woes.
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Choosing to look toward the future rather than honor the past, Maryland joined the Big Ten Conference on Monday, bolting from the Atlantic Coast Conference in a move driven by the school's budget woes.
Maryland was a charter member of the ACC, which was founded in 1953. Tradition and history were not as important to school President Wallace D. Loh as the opportunity to be linked with the prosperous Big Ten.
"Number one, by being members of the Big Ten Conference, we will be able to ensure the financial sustainability of Maryland athletics for decades to come," Loh said at a news conference that also included Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany.
The Big Ten reportedly paid members $24.6 million each in shared television and media-rights revenues this year.
Rutgers is expected to announce Tuesday it is leaving the Big East for the Big Ten, which would increase Big Ten membership to 14 schools.
Maryland is subject to a $50 million exit fee from the ACC, though Loh said the exact figure "is something we will discuss in private with the ACC."
Loh said new revenue, largely generated by the Big Ten's own television network, will more than offset the ACC exit fee.
Maryland will compete in the Big Ten starting with the 2014-15 academic year.
The Terrapins 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.
Reaction from Maryland fans and students was decidedly negative as their school abandoned its longtime affiliation with like-minded and nearby institutions for a new but ill-defined relationship with schools that to many seemed unfamiliar.
"I know that there's some ambivalence," Delany said. "I know that there's some anger."
• Boise State, San Diego State and Brigham Young have had talks with Mountain West membership about the possibility of returning to the conference, ESPN reported.
Boise State and San Diego State have contracts to join the Big East in July 2013.
BYU is an independent that has an eight-year contract with ESPN.