Gary Williams reacts to Maryland joining the Big Ten
After nearly 60 years as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the University of Maryland will join the Big Ten.
The decision was finalized today after the Maryland Board of Regents voted to exit the ACC and ask for acceptance in the Big Ten. The Big Ten presidents quickly accepted Maryland, and the deal was done. The Terps will begin Big Ten play in 2014.
Speaking to the media, Maryland President Wallace Loh said that the vote to move to the Big Ten was overwhelmingly positive, and Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said that the Big Ten vote was similarly overhwleming.
Responses to Maryland's conference shift have not been nearly as overhwleming. Many fans are upset at Maryland leaving the ACC in what appears to be little more than a cash grab. The Big Ten will bring in significantly more revenue to Maryland athletics, at a time when the Terps athletic depatment desperately needs the money. Earlier this year, Maryland cut seven varisty sports and the athletic budget is running a mounting deficit.
"I came to the conclusion this was the rigth thing to do," Loh said.
He explained that the decision to leave the ACC was an incredibly difficult one, but a neccessary choice for Maryland to remain competitive in a changing college sports landscape.
"The world of the ACC as we have known it has changed," Loh said, adding that Maryland no longer plays traditional rivals like North Carolina every year in football or twice a year in basketball, which for decades had been the case. Loh said that as president his role is to do what's best for Maryland in the future, and that is moving to the Big Ten. Delany echoed Loh's comments about college sports.
"The only thing that has been constant is the change around the country," Delany said. He added that the Big Ten is excited to welcome Maryland to its ranks.
"We don't fear the turtle, we embrace the turtle," the Big Ten commissioner said. He called the press conference "Maryland's Day" and would not comment on further Big Ten expansion. Reports show that New Jersey's state university Rutgers is expected to join the Big Ten as well.