The new $50 million exit fee for an ACC member to leave the league may not stand in the way of conference realignment after all.
Late Friday night, Pennsylvania radio host Jerry Fisher tweeted that sources told Phil Grosz, the Penn State editor for Rivals.com, that Maryland is set to join the Big Ten in 2014 with an announcement coming next week. Jeff Ermann of Inside Maryland Sports then indicated in a post that the rumors are “more than just rumors.”
With Pittsburgh and Syracuse set to join the ACC next year and realignment having seemingly taken a back seat with the ACC at 14 members, certainly these rumors seemed to come out of nowhere.
But according to a source this morning, the talk of a Maryland move to the Big Ten is “pretty serious” and there's “a lot of smoke in College Park” about a move. The school is intrigued by the Big Ten because of the added revenue that it would bring in from BTN. Not too long ago the Terrapins had to drop some non-revenue sports, and a move to the Big Ten — despite a massive exit fee and extra travel costs — would help the athletic department immensely.
The potential second team to jump ship to the Big Ten and give Jim Delany's league 14 members? The school I continue to hear from several people is Rutgers, which would love the opportunity to leave the Big East for a bigger platform. And Delany certainly could desire to add the New York television market along with the Washington, D.C. market he would get with Maryland. Geographically, Rutgers is close to New York City and Philadelphia, and it is the only BCS conference school that plays in the New York City metropolitan TV market.
As of right now there is obviously plenty of smoke, and everyone around Maryland and in Big Ten country is being tight-lipped. But it's certainly something to monitor closely, and I'll update if any more information becomes available.
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