|The decision to add Maryland was apparently unanimous by the Big Ten's presidents and chancellors.(US Presswire)|
Maryland's Board of Regents held a vote Monday morning to decide whether the school was going to apply for membership to the Big Ten Conference. According to ESPN.com's Brett McMurphy and the Washington Post, the vote was overwhelmingly in favor of making the move.
The Big Ten must officially approve expansion with a vote from the presidents/chancellors of the current member schools, and that decision was reportedly unanimous.
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The first issue at hand will be Maryland's exit fee to leave the Atlantic Coast Conference. The increase approved by the conference in September (which Maryland, along with Florida State, voted against) raised the fee from $20 million to approximately $50 million. According to the league, that increase went into place immediately and applied to all 14 all-sport members and Notre Dame.
"Our best wishes are extended to all of the people associated with the University of Maryland," ACC commissioner John Swofford said in an official statement. "Since our inception, they have been an outstanding member of our conference and we are sorry to see them exit. For the past 60 years the Atlantic Coast Conference has exhibited leadership in academics and athletics. This is our foundation and we look forward to building on it as we move forward."
As far as timetable goes, the Terps will begin Big Ten play in the 2014-15 school year.
According to university President Wallace Loh, the decision was made not to spurn Maryland's long history with the ACC but to solidify the future of their athletic department.
"I did it to guarantee the long-term future of Maryland athletics," Loh told The Diamondback, Maryland's student newspaper. "No future president will have to worry about cutting teams or that Maryland athletics will be at risk."
Maryland was forced to cut funding for seven sports teams this season as a result of a massive budget deficit. The Big Ten, with the Big Ten Network renegotiation in 2017, promised a more fruitful and stable financial situation for the school.
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