Maryland, Rutgers negotiating to join Big Ten

Andrew Krammer

The University of Maryland is in "serious negotiations" to join the Big Ten Conference, according to ESPN.com.

ESPN reported that if Maryland goes, Rutgers is expected to leave the Big East and join as well. Rutgers was in the conversation when the Big Ten added Nebraska in 2011. An announcement could be made Monday. 

The Big Ten hasn't held 10 teams since Penn State joined in 1990, and if the Terrapins and Scarlet Knights join, the conference would have 14 teams. It still needs to negotiate new media rights when its first-tier rights expire in 2017.

Obstacles include Maryland's budget — the Terrapins recently cut seven sports to save face, and the Atlantic Coast Conference just raised its exit fee from $20 million to $50 million. Maryland and Florida State were the only two of 12 schools to vote against the increase. 

Rutgers would shell out only $10 million if the school provided 27 months of prior notice. The Big East has been flexible in allowing West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse to leave for a higher fee.