Maryland Agrees to Join Big Ten-Presser

The Unviersity of Maryland Board of Regents accepted the invitation to join the Big Ten.

The University of Maryland will become the 13th member of the Big Ten Conference after the university's Board of Regents voted unanimously to leave the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Maryland President Wallace D. Loh was one of the two members of the ACC who voted against increasing the exit fee from $20 million to $50 million. With a budget that is already in the red, the university may be able to negotiate the exit fee to a lower amount or have their new conference cover the cost for now.

The main driving force behind the move was money. The Big Ten Network's revenue is much higher than the ACC's contract extension with ESPN. Big Ten schools made around $24.6 million each while ACC schools netted around $17 million from their television contract.

The rivalries that Maryland had established with Virginia, Duke and North Carolina to name a few will likely be severed, though there is still a possibility that the schools could still be scheduled to play one another in out-of-conference play. New rivalries will have to be formed, but that will take some time for fans and players to get used to. The Maryland and Penn State rivalry does not have that ring to it. Yet.

The Big Ten has a strong football and basketball conference, but other sports that Maryland has excelled at, such as lacrosse, soccer and field hockey, are very weak. Maryland's football program is still in rebuilding mode and will struggle against traditional football powerhouses like Michigan, Penn State and Ohio State. Terrapin basketball is on the rise under second-year head coach Mark Turgeon, but the season will have a different feel without their home-and-home series against Mike Krzyzewski's Duke Blue Devils and Tony Bennett's Virginia Cavaliers. Instead, the Terps would face the likes of Michigan State and Indiana.

Rutgers is expected to also join the Big Ten now that Maryland has accepted, evening out the teams at 14. The ACC will probably pick at the Big East, with Connecticut being the most likely to take Maryland's place.

The University of Maryland will have a press conference announcing their decision at 3 p.m. today at the Stamp Student Union in College Park, Md.

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