The University of Maryland’s Board of Regents on Monday approved a move to the Big Ten Conference, ending nearly 60 years of affiliation with the Atlantic Coast Conference, multiple sources reported.
Rutgers is expected to announce Tuesday that it will join the Terps in the Big Ten, the New York Daily News reported.
Maryland’s move is the latest in a flurry of conference realignment that has drastically altered the landscape of college athletics in recent years, often disrupting traditional regional rivalries as schools chase increasingly lucrative television contracts.
Maryland’s move, which could carry a $50 million exit penalty from the ACC, is considered to be a financial strategy that will bring the school a share of the Big Ten’s television network revenue.
It comes roughly four months after the university announced that it would cut seven varsity sports from its athletics department, amid declining revenue from football and basketball.
Maryland Presidnet Wallace Loh, a former University of Iowa provost, said that the move and the television profits that the university would garner from Big Ten profit sharing will ensure the future solvency of Maryland athletics.
"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."
The divisions as they currently stand are:
- Michigan State
- Ohio State
- Penn State
It has been reported that Illinois will be moving to the Legends division to make room for Maryland and Rutgers.
So what do you think of Maryland’s move? Will Maryland be a good fit into the Big Ten? Is it a bad sign when money is winning out over tradition in college football?