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Report: Maryland in serious negotiations with Big Ten

Randy Edsall AP

Oh boy.  Here we go again.

In the past week or so, speculation has been bubbling just below the surface that another round of conference expansion could be in the offing, with the talk centered mainly around Maryland.  While most had dismissed the speculation, the rumors have gotten a sudden shot of credibility and credence.

According to ESPN.com‘s Brett McMurphy and others, Maryland is currently engaged in serious negotiations with the Big Ten about a move from the ACC.  The negotiations are so serious, in fact, that an announcement could come as early as this coming Monday.

Additionally, the website is reporting that, if Maryland, a charter member of the ACC, does indeed jump to the Big Ten, Rutgers would follow suit by leaving the Big East for the Midwestern conference.

The move would be surprising on several fronts, most notably when it comes to the financial aspect of such a move for the Terps.  Due to monetary concerns, Maryland recently dropped seven sports.  Not only that, but the ACC adopted a $50 million exit fee earlier this year; the only schools to vote against the measure were Florida State and Maryland.

How Maryland could justify slashing a handful of sports then, months later, paying a mid-eight-figure exit fee is unknown.

If Maryland and Rutgers were to both join the Big Ten, it would put the conference on equal footing quantity-wise with the SEC.  Quality-wise, however, the Big Ten would still lag far behind as the Terps and Scarlet Knights would bring marginal football programs into the mix, although the latter is ranked this season and potentially headed to a BcS bowl.

The reported developments would also portend more doom and gloom for the Big East, which is in the midst of negotiations on its next television contract.  Not only would the conference lose Rutgers if the reports come to fruition, but they could lose either UConn or Louisville to the ACC to fill the hole left by Maryland.

So, buckle up folks.  It appears were in for yet another round of conference expansion.  Yippie?!?

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34 Responses to “Report: Maryland in serious negotiations with Big Ten”
  1. amosalanzostagg says: Nov 17, 2012 6:13 PM

    That puts the ACC, (including ND)The B1G, and the SEC as 14 team leagues. PAC-12 and the Big 12 ( @ 10 teams) could be on the outside looking in in the new BCS playoff format.

    I can see the PAC-12 getting a BYU and another team, but the Big 12 is hosed. There are not four quality athletic programs with viable TV market share that would make NYC sit up and take notice.

    Enjoy college football now, these are the good old days.

  2. totallysirius says: Nov 17, 2012 7:33 PM

    With the big penalty payment, I don’t see what Maryland would gain except maybe more TV exposure.

    BYU and perhaps someone like Boise St moving to the PAC 12 would give those programs some respect and spice things up in what has become a boring conference.

  3. thejjtrain says: Nov 17, 2012 7:35 PM

    So Illinois goes to the Legends, Maryland and Rutgers come to the Leaders. Also all but puts the Big Ten at a 9 game conference slate.

  4. BrownsTown says: Nov 17, 2012 7:49 PM

    I’m guessing Maryland is willing to pay that $50M to get a piece of this….

    http://m.espn.go.com/general/blogs/blogpost?blogname=bigten&id=51064

    I believe ACC teams get around $17M. So, at minimum, they’ll gain several million per year (not knowing how expanded TV markets for BTN nets with two additional teams eating from the same pie…….”Mmmmmm…pie!” Brady Hoke just thought).

  5. BrownsTown says: Nov 17, 2012 7:54 PM

    Oh, and there’s also the academic incentive….

    ” According to one individual privy to internal discussions within the Maryland athletic department, the school is also considering the move because of academics. Big Ten members, along with the University of Chicago, a former member of the conference, comprise the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, a consortium in which members collaborate on academic endeavors. Opportunities for expanding research in the agricultural, biotechnological and engineering fields, the individual said, presented an enticing allure for Maryland.”

    http://m.washingtonpost.com/sports/colleges/university-of-maryland-in-talks-to-join-big-ten/2012/11/17/a9a8cde4-3104-11e2-a30e-5ca76eeec857_story.html

  6. ningenito78 says: Nov 17, 2012 7:57 PM

    As a Rutgers fan I would obviously LOVE this. I know a lot of locals will say ‘NYC isn’t Rutgers country’ and that’s kind of true. But if they were playing teams like Michigan, Ohio St, etc chances are interest in the region will increase. Win win.

  7. bigbuckeye76 says: Nov 17, 2012 8:05 PM

    Awesome move….

    I wanted Florida State and Virginia Tech…….but that was only because I thought there was no way we could grab Maryland and Rutgers!

    Take that SEC!

  8. thefiesty1 says: Nov 17, 2012 8:13 PM

    Kind of watering down the B1G. Two gimme football games for the likes of Michigan, theOSU and Wisconsin and Nebraska. Ho, humm.

  9. normtide says: Nov 17, 2012 8:17 PM

    Take that SEC? Your adding rutgers and Maryland. You need to add teams that have fertile recruiting territory.

  10. jaxhotspur11 says: Nov 17, 2012 8:24 PM

    For those questioning why Maryland, they own the biggest chunk of the DC TV market for college sports and bring Baltimore too. If you combine those two TV markets, only NY, LA, and Chicago are bigger. This is a huge coup to the Big Ten and a huge blow to the gut for the ACC.

    Also, I suspect that UnderArmour will be covering some of that exit fee.

    Maryland is clearly the #3 basketball program in the ACC, and some say they are a sleeping giant in football if they could ever get their $h!+ together and keep their share of DC area recruits. This move may help them do just that.

  11. charles130 says: Nov 17, 2012 8:48 PM

    Quick Summary: UMD president has ties to Big Ten and is listening. Board of Visitors seems bitterly divided and will fight it out on Monday.

  12. bigbuckeye76 says: Nov 17, 2012 8:57 PM

    Normtide, my name is sarcasm……have we met?

  13. BrownsTown says: Nov 17, 2012 8:58 PM

    Norm, the MD-DC-VA area has been pumping out good recruits for a long time. The Rivals100 has five players from MD….same number as from the state of Alabama. Virginia has eight, including a Bama commit. There is talent there.

  14. normtide says: Nov 17, 2012 8:59 PM

    Sorry, I can be a little slow at times.

  15. normtide says: Nov 17, 2012 9:04 PM

    Browns, was more of a response to the take that sec. But I confused the context. On a side note, leagues should wait. If ND is left out of the title game, the may see the light and join a league.

  16. frug says: Nov 17, 2012 10:22 PM

    If Maryland does move then it be the final evidence needed to prove that that exit penalties have zero deterrent effect. Even if Maryland were forced to pay the full $50 million (and they won’t) the amount of money that can be made by switching conferences dwarfs that.

  17. bender4700 says: Nov 17, 2012 10:52 PM

    Maryland and Rutgers were already known to be targets. Baltimore and New York.

    Notre Dame better figure it out. They’ll be left out. Even this year they are the odd man out, well unless KState can’t make an amazing comeback.

  18. bigbuckeye76 says: Nov 17, 2012 11:34 PM

    There will always be room in somebody’s conference for ND….probably not the B1G though….that ship has sailed.

  19. bozosforall says: Nov 17, 2012 11:56 PM

    The ACC needs to absorb as much of the Big East powers that are left if this comes to pass.

  20. yyyass says: Nov 18, 2012 12:04 AM

    While its tough to imagine no more ACC basketball rivalries, much of that was getting screwed with all the Big East teams coming in to the ACC, so I guess time marches on- might as well take the better cash and exposure deal. ACC football is more of an afterthought in the Redskin / Ravens market compared to ACC basketball, so maybe this will raise the profile – but I still can’t get past losing my two Dukie games a year. Damn…

  21. critter69 says: Nov 18, 2012 12:16 AM

    Remember, Rutgers is across from NYC, and there are many alumni of ‘original’ Big Ten schools in the NYC area, plus many more alumni of PSU and Nebraska. I’m sure they would much prefer seeing their team play a game 10 to 100 miles distant rather than having to travel 500 to 1000 miles to see a game. And the NYC area is not that poor of a recruiting area in any sport.

    And ‘jaxhotspur11′, don’t forget that UMCP is located within the Baltimore-DC Combined Metropolitan Statistical Area, with a population of about 8 million. And that area is not that poor of a recruiting area in any sport, either.

    SEC fans? Remember, the Big Ten is not only a football conference, but also basketball and multiple other sports. Along with being one of the best rated academic conferences in the US.

    Tonight’s report on Baltimore’s Channel 11 indicated that the Big 10 was willing to pay a majority of UMCP’s ‘exit fee’ to the ACC. I wouldn’t be surprised if Rutgers U got the same support, and several people and/or companies in the NYC area chipped in to help pay the exit fee from the Big Least.

    One additional thing is that adding UMCP and Rutgers could be the impetus for all Big Ten teams to add lacrosse and women’s field hocky to the sports roster. No loss to UMCP or Rugers, but a big gain for the Big Ten, and Big Ten Network receipts (thus more money to the schools in the conference).

  22. normtide says: Nov 18, 2012 12:21 AM

    Critter. The sec has recent national titles in: football, mens bb, womens bb, baseball, softball, gymnastics, etc etc. Academics are stronger in the b1g, but spelling bees are not a sport, and this is a sports blog.

  23. frug says: Nov 18, 2012 2:47 AM

    @bigbuckeye76

    Until the Irish join another football conference the Big Ten will always leave them a seat at the table (and I’m saying this as a Big Ten fan who hates Notre Dame).

  24. critter69 says: Nov 18, 2012 4:05 AM

    ‘normtide’ ??

    What’s more important to an institution of higher learning – athletics or learning?

    Maybe some or most fans of the SEC thinks of it as much more of an athletic conference, and really doesn’t care that much about learning (a strange concept in my mind for a group of institutions that are supposed to be about higher learning).

    Oh, and at one time, West Virginia University was considered for membership in the Big Ten, but interest dropped to zero when the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) reviewed West Virginia’s academic program, among other things. You see, a school MUST be a member of, or eligible for membership in, the CIC to be considered for membership in the Big Ten. WVU didn’t meet the criteria that the CIC has set for membership. I suspect several SEC schools (and several schools in other conferences) would ‘fit’ the same scenario of non-eligibility.

    That UMCP and Rutgers are being considered for membership in the Big Ten means that they are, or eligible for, membership in the CIC.

  25. normtide says: Nov 18, 2012 8:16 AM

    Yes critter, unis outside of the b1g don’t even teach, they just gather folks fir sporting events… Y’all used to have this same holier then thou attitude about sports. Now your holding on to academics. Guess what, add people flee the rust belt, you will lose that too. How pretentious can you be, you would think the b1g was the ivy league, your not even the little ivy. Btw, house many mathletes do you follow? Howe many academic blogs do you post on? None? But you bring up the books here because you can’t defend your athletics.

  26. allen227 says: Nov 18, 2012 8:19 AM

    They suck in the acc. Will be even worse in big 10.

  27. mmmpierogi says: Nov 18, 2012 10:08 AM

    thefiesty1 says: Nov 17, 2012 8:13 PM

    Kind of watering down the B1G. Two gimme football games for the likes of Michigan, theOSU and Wisconsin and Nebraska. Ho, humm.

    ***********************************************************************

    …and outside of those teams, you also have perennial powerhouses such as Northwestern, Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, and Iowa. Nothing against the Big Ten, but from a football standpoint, the watering down is already there.

  28. yyyass says: Nov 18, 2012 11:19 AM

    MD is aleady competitive in basketball and has one of the top recruitment classes in the country now developing on the court. Once the local football recruits from the very strong recruitment zone of MD / VA/ DC (and some PA too – Penn State isn’t as appetizing these days) decide to stay at MD and play in a MAJOR football conference, the Terps FB won’t be dogmeat for long. Yeah, they’ll take their lumps for a bit, but down the road it will be pretty exciting. The traditional ACC basketball rivalries are already toast. They dictated that MD and Pitt would be come regional rivals instead the various NC teams (zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz) ACC football is second tier at best, so we might as move to more lucrative turf with more exposure. Nothing left to lose except more football games for the time being. And for anyone glancing at MD this season – give ‘em a bit of a break. They lost FOUR QBs to season ending injuries (unprecedented) plus some defensive starters and receivers, so ignore this season and we’ll see what their coach manages for next year and thereafter. The FB wasn’t haf the hire that Turgeon was for BB though. The Big 10 just grabbed a major player in the very near future for BB.

  29. deadeye says: Nov 18, 2012 11:23 AM

    When the ACC adopted the 50 million exit fee, I was ridiculed for stating that FSU would not be deterred from exiting, and if they did the actual exit fee would be less than 50 million.

    http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/09/12/notre-dame-to-schedule-acc-football-opponents-as-partial-member/

    At the time both FSU and Maryland voted against the 50 million exit fee. For all the same reasons, Maryland was not deterred and will not pay the 50 million to exit the ACC either:

    1) They voted against the 50 million. A university cannot be compelled to pay an exit fee they never agreed to. The number they would be held to is the one they agreed to pay, the previous 20 million.

    2) The exit fee itself is supposed to represent the damages the conference incurs from the departure of the exiting university. Anything above the actual damages is punitive, and no court would hold up punitive damages for exiting a conference.

    3) The exit fee is a starting point and will be negotiated as all exit fees are. The 50 million will be much closer to 20 million.

    Once Maryland has left, the real exit fee will be known to all. At that point FSU, VT, Clemson, and GT will begin the process of choosing their next conference. Prior to the start of the new playoff system all of those universities will be in either the SEC, BIG10, or BIG12.

  30. brutusbuckeye2011 says: Nov 18, 2012 2:08 PM

    I am not one who normally denigrates teams, but Md and Rutgers add nothing to the power of the B1G. Md has rarely been competitive in football. People in northern Md (includes Baltimore) are more likely to be Penn State fans than Terp fans. People in NY don’t support Rutgers any more than they support UConn. This move breaks down to penetrating TV markets. I for one do not want MD and Rutgers in the conference. We don’t need any more doormats.

  31. yyyass says: Nov 18, 2012 5:39 PM

    Brutus–once MD starts retaining this region’s recruits they won’t be a doormat. With Penn State under suspension MD can pick off some kids that would have gone there, PLUS those that will be psyched to get the national exposure that comes with Big 10 that doesn’t come with ACC. It’s just a matter of time. We’re already rebuilding a powerhouse in basketball.

  32. pastabelly says: Nov 18, 2012 10:06 PM

    Who is BC going to beat now that Maryland is gone?

    I guess this is good news in Connecticut.

  33. critter69 says: Nov 18, 2012 11:32 PM

    brutusbuckeye2011 ??

    1. There is no geographic area called ‘Northern Maryland’.

    Eastern Shore
    Southern Maryland
    Central Maryland
    Western Maryland

    Those are the four geographic areas in Maryland. And Baltimore is considered to be in the Central Maryland geographic area.

    2. Not all people who live in Maryland are UMCP and/or PSU fans. I, for one, am a fan of the Indiana Hoosiers, and I live in Baltimore (and have done so for more than 30 years). There are IU Alumni Associations in multiple cities and towns in Maryland (and the majority are not tiny, less than 25, in membeship).

    I formerly worked with (I am now retired) several people who live in Maryland, but support North Carolina, or Duke, or Wake Forest, or Kentucky, or South Carolina, or Virginia, or Virginia Tech, etc. (multiple people supporting each). Maryland is not a monolithic state in terms of which school the residents support, nor even primarily a two-school state.

    3. UMCP is about 30 miles SW of Baltimore, while PSU is more than 150 miles NNW of Baltimore.

    Now if you want to further display your lack of knowledge of Maryland (geographic or otherwise), be my guest.

  34. thegamecocker says: Nov 19, 2012 9:49 AM

    @BrownsTown

    Academics is absolutely critical for any university the Big Ten goes after! Rutgers University is academically compatible with every school in that conference is a member of the prestigious AAU. This move would be tremendous for Rutger’s and the Big Ten! The ACC is run by the basketball powers located in North Carolina. Mr. Swofford is an alumnus of UNC and a former player on their Bball team under legendary Coach Smith. This conference has cherry-picked the Big East whenever they wanted to expand. Everything that goes around, comes around. The ACC is a basketball conference despite the like of Fla. St, Miami, Clemson, and Va Tech. Adding Syracuse and Pitt merely solidify that position.

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