In a nutshell, my key points against the conference shift included the ACC's growth as a dominant basketball conference, and one Maryland has a chance to be an elite team in. Secondly, the Big 10 inhabits the middle of the country, and in terms of travel times and distances it doesn't make sense that Maryland could go from playing Virginia to Iowa and Nebraska. And then there's the fact the athletic department cut ties with eight teams last year because they faced a mounting debt — expected to be $17 million by 2017. So, yeah, excuse me if a $50 million exit fee doesn't strike me as quite the deal.
Today, the Maryland Board of Regents is expected to vote on the conference change, though it's been reported that President Wallace Loh holds all of the power in this decision. Loh, is a former provost at Iowa, and athletic director Kevin Anderson has no ACC ties.
The only hope for fans against the move is Chancellor Brit Kirwan, who has been on the College Park campus for more than three decades and hopes to keep the university in the ACC.
The biggest argument for the move to the Big 10 is the massive payouts the conference gives out to its members. Last year, the Big Ten paid a record $24.6 million to each of its schools, according to the St. Louis Dispatch, and in combination with the prospect of a new TV deal with the Big Ten Network, the payout could help Maryland tackle its debt.
That leaves doubt the ACC could still see more changes, which honestly would be the silver lining in this whole process.
Florida State was the only university not named Maryland to vote against the ACC raising its exit fee to $50 million in September. Florida State was flirting with the Big 12 for a while, and if the conference appears to be changing directions, FSU might consider a switch elsewhere.
There is also the notion that North Carolina could leave. Then, this whole basketball super-conference loses all of its traction, because not only in UNC a rising football program in the ACC, along with Duke and Syracuse and Pitt is the class of the basketball programs.
This is a financially-driven move, not one that is in the best interest of basketball and football and the sanctity of the athletic program.
I know it's Duke v. UNC, but you cannot tell me when a Carolina school doesn't come into Comcast Center it doesn't feel like the NCAA championship is on the line.
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