Sources have informed ESPN that Maryland is in serious talks to join the Big Ten and that if Maryland joins, Rutgers will join them as well. The Big Ten is apparently trying to expand to 14 teams before they negotiate their next media contract, which would be in 2017.
There are some stumbling blocks though. Maryland recently dropped seven varsity sports because of monetary problems in the Athletic Department, and the ACC has a massive exit fee of $50 Million, that was recently approved. The buy out for Rutgers in the Big East is far less, only sitting at $10 Million. Maryland was also a founding member of the ACC, and some members of the Board of Regents could vote to stay.
According to ESPN, “the Big Ten has been itchy about further expansion since Notre Dame made its official move to the ACC two months ago in all sports other than football. The source said the Big Ten can justify Maryland and then possibly Rutgers since they are all contiguous states to the Big Ten footprint.”
The ACC would want a 14th full-time member to replace Maryland if they leave, and UCONN is reportedly the next team that could join their conference.
To be perfectly honest I’m not okay with the Big Ten adding either one of these teams. None of them bring anything to the table and their “east coast market” isn’t nearly big enough to justify this. Neither one brings anything special to the table athletically, and I think that it would be a waste of two spots. I think that the Big Ten, if they are dead set on expanding, can do far better than Maryland and Rutgers. We’ll have to wait and see what will happen though, and they say we should know more later this week.
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