Maryland announced its move to the Big Ten Confernce on Monday, bolting from the Atlantic Coast Conference in a move driven by the school’s athletic budget woes.
Maryland was a charter member of the ACC, which was founded in 1953. Tradition and history, however, were not as important to school President Wallace D. Loh as the opportunity to be linked with the prosperous Big Ten.
“By being a member of the Big Ten Conference, we are able to ensure financially stability for Maryland athletics for decades to come,” Loh said, speaking at a news conference with Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and athletic director Kevin Anderson.
Maryland eliminated seven sports earlier this year, and Loh said the shift to the Big Ten could provide enough of a windfall to restore some of those sports.
Delany said Maryland’s entry was approved unanimously by the conference’s 12 presidents.
“Quite honestly, they were giddy,” Delany said. “Maybe some people Fear the Turtle. We embrace the Turtle.”
Maryland will become the southernmost member of the Big Ten starting in July 2014. Rutgers is expected follow suit today, splitting from the Big East and making it an even 14 schools in the Big Ten.
For Maryland, the move was not entirely based on athletics. Maryland will join the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, a consortium of world-class research institutions.
“For me and for the board and for the faculty and for the students, the academic component is very, very important,” Loh said. “I would not have made this kind of deal if it was a conference that did not have this consortium.”
But money was really the driving force.
“Somebody has to pay the bills,” Loh said. “I want to leave a legacy for (the) decade to come, long after I’m gone, that no president is going to wonder if Maryland athletics as we know it is going to survive.”
MIAMI IMPOSES BOWL BAN
Miami is self-imposing a second consecutive postseason ban because of an NCAA investigation that is expected to lead to sanctions.
And while the school said it’s not imposing any further penalties yet, Miami coach Al Golden revealed he is preparing to lose some scholarships going forward.
“We want to get it fixed,” he said.
After 60 years at NCAA Division III St. John’s in Collegeville, Minn., four national titles and more victories than any coach in NCAA history, John Gagliardi is calling it a career at age 86. He retires with a record of 489-138-11. He surpassed Eddie Robinson for the career coaching victories record in 2003. … Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel will return from a sprained right ankle Saturday when the No. 6 Gators play at 10th-ranked Florida State. But coach Will Muschamp stopped short of declaring Driskel the starter. … Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald says he expects quarterback Kain Colter and running back Venric Mark to play this week against Illinois. … Minnesota coach Jerry Kill defended a forceful rebuke of leading receiver A.J. Barker that led to the player’s departure from the program, saying he had to discipline the player for a confrontation with the team’s training staff. Barker quit the Golden Gophers on Sunday.