The University of Maryland Board of Regents voted to join the Big Ten Conference on Monday morning. Maryland will join the Big Ten effective 2014-2015 season.
An official announcement is expected at 3 p.m. ET from College Park, MD.
Maryland still needs to officially apply for membership to the Big Ten and needs an affirmative vote from 80% of the current Big Ten members to be accepted. Maryland is expected to pass this vote and be accepted into the Big Ten Conference. EDIT: ESPN is reporting the Big Ten’s Counsel of Presidents unanimously approved Maryland’s admission to the Big Ten on Monday.
Should Maryland succeed in becoming the 13th team in the Big Ten Conference Rutgers University is expected to apply for membership to the Big Ten Conference as early as Tuesday.
Maryland is leaving the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) of which they were a founding member in 1953. The Terapins will be required to withdraw from the ACC and pay an exit fee of $50 million. However, expect negotiations between the ACC and Maryland to negotiate a lower exit fee as the $50 million is viewed as punitive.
The University of Maryland and Rutgers University are both members of the Association of American Universities (AAU) an academic association that all Big Ten members share. Except Nebraska who lost their accreditation shortly after joining the Big Ten. Both Universities will likely join the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) a research cooperative that will bolster both universities’ academic prowess and research money.
Speaking of the all mighty dollar, the assumed intention behind this move is to add to the Big Ten’s geographic footprint. The Big Ten now has two states on the eastern seaboard. If the inclusion of Rutgers and Maryland delivers the New York and Washing DC television markets it would be a large financial windfall for the Big Ten Conference. Both in terms of additional subscribers for the Big Ten Network but also for when the Big Ten renegotiates their television deal in 2017.
What will this move do to the landscape of College Athletics? Will this destabilize the ACC? Will this finally kill the Big East? Will this ignite more conference realignments? Does this solidify 16-team Super-Conferences as college footballs ultimate fate?