Terps to the Big Ten

November 29, 2012 | Tom Federline

It just ain’t right. The University of Maryland is leaving the Atlantic Coast Conference to join the Big Ten (or is it 12, or 14, or eventually 24?), to “ensure the financial stability” of the sports department (possibly save 7 sports) and receive “academic benefits.” Pa-lease Wallace Loh and Kevin Anderson, we are not buying it. Just like the Iowa and Army alumni (respectively) that did not buy the oceanfront property in Kansas you tried selling them at your previous jobs.  It’s all about setting the University up for the conversion into the Five (5) Super-Conferences. It’s all about excuses to raise tuition. It’s all about the money. It’s all about football and basketball.

Nice Thanksgiving Week surprise, huh? Stuff this, U of M. Yeah, yeah, yeah……….financially it may help dig the powers at large out of the hole they dug and an attempt to save face from the ridicule and embarasssment of losing 7 athletic programs. I liked the Lefthanders quotes – “What is the matter? Why are they so broke?” How can a major state university mis-appropriates monies and drop 7 sports? I still can’t get over that one. With all the successes of mens/womens basketball teams, mens/womens soccer, mens/womens lacrosse, womens filed hockey, etc. I just don’t buy it.

The Atlantic Coast Conference to me: Clemson, Duke, NC, NC State, Vigina, Wake Forest, maybe Georgia Tech (1978) and of course the Terps. That’s what I grew up with. That is what I will always remember. I didn’t buy Florida State coming in (1991) and my goodness when the Big East started invading, I basically boycotted those games. My most memorable ACC basketball coaches: the Lefthander, Gary, Coack K., Dean Smith, Norm Sloan, Jimmy V., Terry Holland, Dave Odom (the otter) and Bobby Cremins. Those days are gone, but oh the memories.

So, who did you root for this past week in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge? I was all over Michigan – “Go Wolverines beat State! and “How ’bout them Stinkin’ Badgers – beat those Wahoos!” I don’ think so……..but it was (as always) “Anybody but Duke. Go Buckeyes!”  Basketball is going to be interesting. Football……….Terps don’t have a chance.

Brace yourself for the five (5) Super-Conferences. That is where Collegiate sports is heading. Throw out the traditional geographically correct conference locations. Some rivalries will remain, some will start anew, some will become a distant past memory. It’s all about the money and bragging rights. Not that any of this is “fixed” or there has been some mis/re-allocation of funds, because that would just absolutely crush me. Gosh darn, I sure hope greed hasn’t entered into the picture.

The student-athlete? I guess it depends on the sport and the individual. The athlete (how much money can you bring in) – student (which is questionable with the football/basketball programs), is more like it.  Will this move “fix” the supposed struggling U of M Athletics? Only time will tell. Maybe the powers at be needed NEW money? Not that any of this is “fixed” or there has been some mis-allocation of funds, because that would just absolutely crush me. Gosh darn, I sure hope greed hasn’t entered into the picture.

The Big Ten? Currently most of those schools are in the mid-west and north right? So, when are we going to Minnesoda on a road trip. Terrapin Nation be travelin’ well to Nebraska or how about Iowa? Those destinations on your “bucket list”? I wonder how easy it will be to get a football ticket in Ann Arbor, for Terps / Michigan? Ok, going to that stadium with a full house might be cool. But I’m doing it in September!

Bottom line – the “Times They are a Changin'” – (Bob Dylan). Accept and roll or divert your energies. As an “old schooler” and traditionalist – it just ain’t right. As a realist – bring it on. It’s all a little heavy to digest at the moment. On a positive, no more Carolina refs on a consistent basis. I have heard gossip about those corrupt Michigan refs though. You kiddin’ me? GO TERPS!



5 Comments For This Post

  1. unitastoberry Says:

    Lefty said he doesn’t like it. I agree. He said there’s more to it then what they are saying. This means people are going to make big money most of them who already have cushy college jobs and sit at their desks like Mr Carlson in WKRP. I tend to agree with the Left hander. The 50 million dollar exit fee, the increased travel costs, heck the squash team has to fly to Minnesota instead of taking a bus to Carolina. Not to mention the drubbing they are going to take in football unless they start to pay players. It stinks.

  2. Fedman Says:

    When Lefty speaks people listen. Same with Len Elmore, Adrian Branch, Tom MacMillan, etc. Although apparently the Maryland Board of Regents wasn’t listening when MacMillan voted against against the move. The $50 million dollar exit fee/penalty will more than likely be absorbed by the Big Ten (new money) and the paying students at the U of M. It would be interesting to get a true record of season ticket cancellations. They won’t publish that. Even though there will be fallout – you know as well as I do, there will be others to take the traditional Terp alumni seats.
    I’m pretty sure the Squash team (if there ever was one) has been squashed by the new Loh/Anderson No Maryland History Team. I guess the Big Ten promised MD a few airplanes for the Mens/Womens and Board of Regents/Cush jobs teams for travel. It’s all wrong.
    Thanks for the feedback. Keep ’em rolling.

    There’s a heckuva SEC title game going on right now, Georgia vs. Alabama. Some traditions continue.


  3. JC Says:

    I too am having trouble fully digesting this news from our beloved alma mater. Long term it sounds like they made the right move to keep the money flowing and to be a player in the future of college athletics. The end of the Duke and UNC rivalries in hoops is sad, but may make NCAA Tourney match-ups with those schools that much more special. I’m sure we’ll grow to hate Tom Izzo just as much as the “rat man” at Duke.

    If you are still looking for some sort of silver lining to this very dark cloud, consider this:
    1. Someone will be paid to design and build the Byrd stadium upper deck that will provide seating for the Penn State, Ohio State, and Michigan faithful that will come to the games (Lord knows Terp fans will never fill those seats)
    2. The true “Student atheletes” on the cancelled non-revenue sports teams will actually have a team and scholarships again (so we’re told)
    3. As much as we will be way out of our league in football, we’re gonna be a force to reckon with in Big Ten Lacrosse!

  4. Fedman Says:

    “Anybody but Michigan State!” – I don’t think so. We will not see any Terp/Big Ten team rivalry like Terps/Duke in our lifetime. Or Terps/UNC, Terps/UVA, etc. With the possible adaptation of 5 super-conferences, the home-away series every year will be gone. It just ain’t right.
    You are trying to lure me into a Byrd Stadium/U of M Facilities Planning rant – annnnnnnnnd I can’t bite at the moment. Thanks though, there is enough material there for a seperate blog. Take a guess? It just ain’t right.
    Student athletes – besides the full or partial scholarships (free rides) and pampered scholastic scams, I wonder if they are going to award the athlete-students frequent flyer miles?
    Thanks for the feedback. Keep ’em rollin’.


  5. JC Says:

    You mean,”Duke is Puke, Wake is Fake, but the team I hate is……
    Michigan State!” doesn’t exactly roll of the tongue??

    Terp sports as we knew them will be forever changed. We’ll just have to wait and see if it’s for the better.

    The money is great, but if they manage it the same way they did the past funds, they’re not going to be any better off.

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