The University of Maryland was poised Sunday to end its 59-year affiliation with the Atlantic Coast Conference and jump to the Big Ten Conference, a move that would eliminate a number of the school’s longstanding college sports rivalries but, in the view of those behind the proposal, shore up the finances of an athletic department that has fallen on rocky budgetary times.
The Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland will meet early this morning in a private session in Baltimore to decide whether Maryland should join the 12-member Big Ten, which is looking to expand its geographic and financial footprint.
The proposal needs a simple majority of the board’s 16 members to pass. University of Maryland President Wallace Loh, who spearheaded the move, briefed the board on the proposal via telephone late Sunday afternoon.
Such a move by Maryland would likely set into motion another round of realignment in college sports, as the major conferences seek stability through greater numbers and financial enrichment through lucrative television contracts. The Big Ten is expected to add another school along with Maryland, possibly Rutgers, which would bring with it the highly coveted New York television market. The ACC, meanwhile, will likely look to the Big East to fill the void created by Maryland.
While Maryland would almost certainly benefit financially with a move to the Big Ten, there has been a backlash from fans and alumni, who claim the school is jettisoning tradition in favor of money.
— The Washington Post