Maryland set to join Big Ten in 2014

(AP) Maryland is joining the Big Ten. The university is announcing its move from the Atlantic Coast Conference at a news conference Monday afternoon with school president Wallace D. Loh, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany and athletic director Kevin Anderson.

Maryland will become member of the Big Ten starting in 2014. Rutgers is expected follow suit by Tuesday, splitting from the Big East and making it an even 14 schools in the Big Ten.

In the world of conference realignment, Maryland’s departure from the ACC qualifies as a shocker. The Terrapins were a charter member of the ACC, which was founded in 1953.

There was speculation last week that the Big Ten and Maryland were talking. On Saturday, it became clear the discussions were serious.

The addition of Maryland extends the Big Ten farther east and south than it ever has been, and gives the conference a presence in the major media market of Washington. D.C.

Rutgers, in New Brunswick, N.J., and about 40 miles south of New York City, gives the Big Ten a member in the country’s largest media market.

[RELATED: BTN to air Maryland announcement at 3 p.m. ET]

For both schools, the move should come with a long-term financial gain. The Big Ten reportedly paid its members $24.6 million in shared television and media rights revenues this year.

There will be some financial matters to resolve in the short term though. After the ACC added Notre Dame as a member in all sports but football and hockey in September, the league voted to raise the exit fee to $50 million. Maryland was one of two schools that voted against the increased exit fee.

The Big East’s exit fee is $10 million, but the league also requires a 27-month notification period for departing members. That means Rutgers will not be able to join the Big ten until 2015 without working out some kind of deal with the Big East.

Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia have all negotiated early withdrawals from the Big East in the past year.

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aroznowski on 11/19/2012 @ 9:20pm EDT Said:

I am not really a fan of this. Maryland and Rutgers just don’t seem to be good fits in the way that Nebraska was a year and a half ago. Being the traditionalist that I am that values the great, long history and pageantry of the Big Ten Conference, this comes as a sudden shock. The conference was founded back in 1896. By 1917, the conference had ten members (Chicago, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Purdue, and Wisconsin). The conference was stable for about thirty years until Chicago left in 1946 and Michigan State joined in 1950. The conference was stable for about forty more years until Penn State joined in 1990. It was stable for about twenty more years after that until Nebraska joined in 2011. There really should have been a period of at least two decades until the Big Ten considered expanding beyond twelve members. With that said, the only sport that reaps massive benefits from adding Maryland and likely Rutgers is lacrosse. The Big Ten would have five schools (Maryland, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, and Rutgers) with men’s lacrosse teams and six schools (Maryland, Michigan, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, and Rutgers) with women’s lacrosse teams going forward. The Big Ten would be able to sponsor women’s lacrosse and would need just one more program in order to sponsor men’s lacrosse. At this point, it might be in the conference’s best interest to add Johns Hopkins as a lacrosse-only member to boost the number of men’s and women’s lacrosse programs to six and seven, respectively. Lacrosse is the only sport that Johns Hopkins has at the Division I level. The rest of its sports are in Division III. Maryland and Johns Hopkins have a great rivalry on the lacrosse field. Johns Hopkins is also an elite academic institution that could be added to the CIC to boost the number of CIC schools to sixteen. I have probably rambled on enough by now. While I do so reluctantly, I would like to welcome Maryland and likely Rutgers to the Big Ten Conference. At the very least, the Terrapins and Scarlet Knights deserve a chance to prove themselves, and I will definitely allow them that chance. Maryland and Rutgers fans, you better be proud and honored to be joining the best collegiate athletic conference in the country.