When Maryland announced last year that it would be moving from the ACC to the Big Ten in 2014, there was little left to the imagination as to the rea$on behind the conference switch: money. Lots and lots and lots of money.
For the 2014-2015 academic year, the Terps first in the Big Ten, conference members are expected to receive a payout of $32 million each, although like Nebraska a couple of years ago it’s not expected that the Terps will receive a full revenue share. Still, Maryland will double what it would have received had it stayed in the ACC.
Additionally, the Baltimore Sun reports, Maryland negotiated with the Big Ten a travel subsidy that will pay the school $20-$30 million to help offset additional costs. The Sun wrote that “[i]t was not clear when the subsidy is to be received and whether it will be a lump sum or series of payments.”
The Big Ten declined to comment on the subsidy report.
Maryland’s travel costs for its first year in the Big Ten are expected to double, from $3 million in 2012-2013 up to $6 million. In the ACC, eight of the 11 schools are less than 600 miles away (one way) from College Park, with the longest trips being to Miami (1,100 miles) and Florida State (850 miles). In the Big Ten, 10 of the 13 members are more than 600 miles away, with Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers being the lone exceptions. Two B1G members — Minnesota (1,200) and Nebraska (1,230) — are further away than Tallahassee.
The fact that Maryland will in theory bring with it the Baltimore/Washington D.C. television markets, and thus boost the value of Big Ten Network payouts, likely played a significant role in the Big Ten’s decision to grant a travel subsidy to a school that just a couple of years ago was forced to cut seven sports.
Interestingly, it doesn’t appear that Rutgers, which will move from the Big East to the Big Ten the same year, asked for the same travel subsidy as Maryland. In fact, it doesn’t appear that RU will receive any type of subsidy at all from their new conference home.
“I don’t think it’s so much about subsidies,” Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti told the paper. “We were comfortable from the beginning that the revenues are going to equitably address the travel situation. With certain sports like football, we charter-traveled to every game, so football will really look the same. Basketball, there will be some more [travel], but nonconference scheduling will balance that out.”