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Maryland leaves ACC for more money
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On November 19, 2012 @ 9:00 pm In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Gary Mihoces, USA TODAY Sports
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — In announcing Maryland’s jump to the Big Ten on Monday, university decision-makers followed the script of sports free agents who cite the best interests of their families in accepting deals to go elsewhere. But, of course, the Big Ten will bring big money.
Maryland, a founding member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1953, will make the move in July 2014. Big Ten presidents voted for acceptance Monday shortly after the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland approved the switch.
“Membership in the Big Ten is in the strategic interest of the University of Maryland,” Maryland President Wallace Loh said at a news conference in the student union. “We will be able to insure the financial sustainability of Maryland athletics for decades to come.”
That sentiment was echoed by two members of Maryland’s Board of Regents, Gary Attner and Patricia Florestano, in comments Monday to USA TODAY Sports. And Maryland is not the only school that may be gaining that stability. Rutgers, which has seen its league, the Big East, gain and lose members since 2010, has scheduled a 2 p.m. news conference Tuesday to announce its departure from the Big East to the Big Ten, according to an official with knowledge of the move and negotiations.
Rutgers’ president, Robert Barchi, and athletic director, Tim Pernetti, have the authority to accept an invitation from the Big Ten without the approval of the school’s Board of Governors.
Maryland’s athletics department has been battling budget deficits, and in July, it eliminated seven of its previously 27 sports teams. Discontinued were men’s tennis, women’s water polo, men’s and women’s swimming, acrobatics & tumbling, men’s cross country and men’s indoor track and field.
“We vowed that will never happen again,” said Loh, who added that Maryland is in the process of reinstating some of those discontinued sports.
Said athletics director Kevin Anderson: “No future Maryland athletic director will ever have to look in young men’s and young women’s eyes and say you can’t play here anymore.”
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