Beginning in 2014, Maryland University will be a member of the Big 10 Conference. Maryland has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1953. In fact, Maryland is one of the ACC’s founding members. The move was announced yesterday at a press conference by school President Wallace D. Loh, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany and Maryland Athletic Director Kevin Anderson. Moving to the Big 10 will mean more money from the football program, around $7 million more a year.
Speaking of money, Maryland will have to pay a $50 million “exit fee” to the ACC. That sounds like something a gangster would have to pay his mob boss before being allowed to leave Mafia. Imagine that, collegiate sports having similarities to organized crime.
This decision is stupid. Maryland is and always has been a basketball college. The ACC is the country’s premiere college basketball program. Maryland won the NCAA championship in men’s basketball in 2002. Every year, as a member of the ACC, Maryland plays Duke and North Carolina twice during the regular season. They’re giving that up to be able to play football with Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State? I just don’t get it. Maryland’s football program is a joke. Their current record this season is 4-7.
Don’t be surprised if Maryland sells their rights to home games against Michigan or Ohio State to third-party event promoters who will then host the game at a neutral site. I can remember Maryland doing that with its Florida State game in 1996. The game took place not at College Park, but down in Miami.
If there’s one thing Maryland and their stupid football uniforms demonstrates, there’s not a lot they wont do for money.