Maryland board OKs move to Big Ten
by Dan Wolken and Gary Mihoces, USA TODAY Sports
The University of Maryland’s Board of Regents voted to join the Big Ten Conference on Monday, leaving behind a league it helped create in 1953.
Patricia Florestano, a member of the Board of Regents, confirmed to USA TODAY Sports the regents had voted to apply for admission for the University of Maryland into the Big Ten.
“There was certainly discussion about the tradition of the ACC. And the question is what’s the future. And we’ve got to look to the future,” Florestano said in Baltimore before a previously scheduled public meeting on education policy.
A formal announcement from the Big Ten and the school is expected Monday afternoon.
“I did it to guarantee the long-term future of Maryland athletics,” university President Wallace Loh told Maryland’s student newspaper, The Diamondback. “No future president will have to worry about cutting teams or that Maryland athletics will be at risk.”
Maryland has been in a severe athletics budget crisis in recent years, going so far as to cut some of its intercollegiate programs. The Big Ten move is expected to generate several more millions a year, mainly through television rights. The Big Ten has the most lucrative television contract in college sports, with each member receiving more than $24 million a year, according to published reports, including by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Florestano said the vote earlier Monday was not unanimous but that she voted for the move to the Big Ten.
“There was a long discussion,” she said.
Is Maryland’s future brighter in the Big Ten?
“‘We perceive it that way,” said Florestano.
The Board of Regents has 17 members. “We had a majority in the room,” she said.
Was the meeting closed?
“It was certainly an executive meeting without the public,” she said.
Rutgers is expected to follow Maryland to the Big Ten. It has a previously scheduled Board of Governors meeting Monday, and an announcement on its move could come as early as Tuesday.
Maryland’s move creates an opening, and perhaps some instability, in the Atlantic Coast Conference. … [For more on Maryland board OKs move to Big Ten, click here.]