Maryland accepts invite to join Big Ten

by Nickalas Tabbert

Maryland is the newest member of the Big Ten Conference.

The university's Board of Regents voted unanimouslyMonday  to leave the Atlantic Coast Conference for the Big Ten. The Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors followed suit with its unanimous approval for the university to join the Big Ten effective July 1, 2014, with competition to begin in all sports for the 2014-15 academic year.

“Today is a watershed moment for the University of Maryland,” said university president Dr. Wallace D. Loh. “Membership in the Big Ten Conference is in the strategic interest of the University of Maryland. It will not only ensure the financial vitality of Maryland Athletics for decades to come, but … [it] will boost the University of Maryland’s ascendancy in academic excellence.”

Sources also said Rutgers may announce its decision to follow the Terrapins and join the conference as soon as Tuesday. Rutgers' Board of Regents is holding a regularly scheduled meeting Monday in New Brunswick, N.J.

Both schools would face exit fees to leave their respective conferences. Sources at Maryland believe the Terrapins will be able to negotiate the current $50 million fee from the ACC to a smaller amount.

Maryland, one of the seven schools to start the ACC in 1953, is only the second school to leave the conference. South Carolina was the other in 1971.