Big Ten could add Maryland, Rutgers, reports say

SHARE Big Ten could add Maryland, Rutgers, reports say

Some big noise about the Big Ten came out of the East on Saturday. Multiple sources, including ESPN.com and CBSsports.com, reported that Maryland is in serious discussions regarding joining the conference of Legends and Leaders.

Rutgers also could join the Big Ten as a 14thmember, ESPN.com said, adding that an announcement could come as early as Monday.

Efforts to confirm the reports through numerous Big Ten sources were unsuccessful. That in itself might be a clue: With no one willing knock down the expansion news, that could mean there’s substance to it.

It makes sense from the standpoint that the Next Big Thing in college sports–a handful of “super conferences”–is getting nearer and nearer.

This looks like a response to Notre Dame’s decision to align with the ACC. Adding Maryland and Rutgers would give the Big Ten a serious television profile in the New York and Washington markets.

And as the Pac-12’s recent television machinations show–a reported12-year, $3 billion TV contract with ESPN and Fox–the sky’s the limit for the Big Ten, which has a bigger upside than the West Coast league.

In a measure of how big the stakes are, Maryland, which recently dropped seven sports because of budget problems, is said to be interested in joining the Big Ten even though it would be required to pay a $50 million exit fee to the ACC.

Sources told ESPN.com thatMaryland president Wallace Loh has been handling the negotiations and Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson has briefed key staffers on the situation.

As boggling as it may seem, the addition of Maryland and Rutgers might only be a stepping stone to a 16-school conference. Speculation has grown that the college-sports landscape will evolve into four 16-team super leagues in the future.

It’s possible the future is nearer than people thought.


The Latest
Cecilia Thomas was inside a car when another car approached and someone inside the second car opened fire, striking her in the head, police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office said.
“I have to give a shout-out to the police. They did an amazing job. There were plenty of police resources,” Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) said. “Given the volume of people that were here, they did a great job…I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”
The court in the Moscow suburb of Khimki extended Griner’s detention for another six months after she appeared for a preliminary hearing held behind closed doors.
The court ruled 6-3 along ideological lines for the coach. The justices said the coach’s prayer was protected by the First Amendment.
They were in the 400 block of North State Street early Monday when someone in a black Jeep opened fire, police said.