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Explain to me again why we added this welfare case to our league?
By Jeff BarkerThe Baltimore Sun
9:49 p.m. EDT, March 15, 2013
The University of Maryland's deal to join the Big Ten includes not only the lucrative annual payouts that all members receive, but also a significant concession obtained by the school — a subsidy worth tens of millions of dollars from the conference to offset athletic teams' anticipated higher travel costs, according to multiple sources.
The subsidy, which Maryland was promised in negotiations with the conference late last year, made an already appealing offer of Big Ten membership even more attractive to the school.
Since financial details of the agreement are kept private — the amount of the subsidy is not publicly available. But the amount is in the range of $20 million to $30 million, according to sources familiar with the deal.
Maryland got the subsidy after assessing the travel-cost implications of leaving the Atlantic Coast Conference, its home for 60 years.
The cost of sending its teams halfway across the country — as far away as Lincoln, Neb. (1,201 miles), and Iowa City, Iowa (905 miles) — was projected by the school to approximately double its travel budget.
The subsidy underscores how much the Big Ten coveted Maryland and the accompanying Baltimore-Washington television market. Maryland had some leverage in the talks because — unlike some schools exploring jumping conferences — it was not coming from a league, the ACC, that appears in imminent danger of collapse.
It was not clear when the subsidy is to be received and whether it will be a lump sum or series of payments. School officials said the specifics were private, and the Big Ten declined comment.
"If the Big Ten subsidizes them in travel, then I'm pleased," said former U.S. Rep. Tom McMillen, a member of the Board of Regents.
McMillen said conference realignment continues to pose another travel-related challenge — making sure athletes can succeed academically despite being away from campus for more extended periods. "It just makes it so difficult for kids to go to school," McMillen said. "I think it's an ever-growing trend. This is not just Maryland — this is all these conferences."
Maryland's team travel budget for 2012-13 is about $3 million, the athletic department said in response to a Baltimore Sun request. Based on information available before team schedules come out, the projected figure for 2014-15 — once the school is in the Big Ten — is $6 million.
The Big Ten was attractive because its television payouts will help sustain a Maryland athletic department that had to cut seven of its 27 teams last year. Maryland's Big Ten deal appears to dwarf what it got from the ACC. According to Sports Illustrated, the Big Ten projected that Maryland would make $32 million in 2014-15 — and much more after the Big Ten negotiates a new television deal in 2017.
Shortly after adding Maryland — which is to begin in the Big Ten in July 2014 — the conference accepted Rutgers, whose New Jersey location is valuable because of New York's large television market.
Rutgers has also studied the implications of Big Ten travel and is exploring creative solutions, but apparently not subsidies. Most college teams' travel budgets aren't subsidized by conferences.
"I don't think it's so much about subsidies," Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti said Thursday. "We were comfortable from the beginning that the revenues are going to equitably address the travel situation. With certain sports like football, we charter-traveled to every game, so football will really look the same. Basketball, there will be some more [travel], but nonconference scheduling will balance that out."
No new Big Ten divisional structure has been announced, although it makes geographic sense for Maryland, Rutgers and Penn State to be aligned together. "A lot of that stuff is still very preliminary — how we're going to do divisions, how we're going to schedule," Pernetti said. "In Olympic sports, there is a focus on how to schedule in the most intelligent way."
Options for helping athletes academically could include emphasizing weekend games, playing nonconference games closer to home and avoiding clustering too many road trips together. While Maryland football and men's basketball players typically travel on charter flights, much of the other teams' travel has long been by bus.
And then there are the fans. Maryland boosters have grown accustomed to driving to many ACC venues and have enjoyed conference rivalries. The Terps do have some long ACC road trips as well, including Miami (1,069 miles) and Florida State (880 miles).
"I've already started looking into travel arrangements — Southwest flies to most of the [Big Ten] places," said Rick Furlough, president of the Fastbreakers, the support group for Maryland's men's basketball team. "Would I like to be in Miami in February instead of Minnesota? Absolutely. But it is what it is, and I think it is a good move."
They will have less travel costs because the won't smell a bowl game.
Does OSU get a higher paycheck because they pay the damn bills around here?
This post was edited by IndyDog 13 months ago
That $20-$30 million is not really for travel. It's for the ACC Buyout.
Notice Rutgers didn't get anything.
You can't specify a payment as "ACC Buyout Subsidy", so this was an easier way. It's just the first step to getting more ACC schools to jump.
For a conference that divides everything equally and every school more/less has equal say, obviously you can't subsidize travel for just one school.
This is for the buyout and hope UNC, Virginia and Georgia Tech jump as well.
Exactly. This is a "get your exit fee negotiated down, and we'll pay it" deal. That's why there is not an exact amount. That and they released this for a reason. Hey UNC, UVA, and other ACCer's, look at this deal! Who's ready to jump now?
Ya, Delaney's mission to destroy the ACC just took its next step. It'll be interesting to see what Notre Dame does as this path continues.
Anymore I think ND will do anything to stay away from the B1G. If/when the ACC collapses I can see them running to the Big 12.
Ya I get the same feeling as well. They already play half our teams anyway on a seemingly annual basis, and they would make a helluva lot more $$.
I would imagine that's another reason they don't want any part of the B1G. Probably don't wanna share their money with everybody else.
U hit the nail on the head. Everyone has to look at the BIG dollar picture.
You may see FSU and GT jump to the head of the line. FSU, Maryland and Clemson were not happy
with the ACC TV deal.
Meh, screw ND. I am not sure they are worth the headache in the long run.
As for this deal, yeah, it was Delaney just finding a work around to get Maryland's fee reduced.
The exit fee is still in court and yet to be determined. Obviously, any money the B1G allocates to the Maryland AD can be used in any fashion. If we stipulate the money is for travel expenses, then the money they would have used can be divirted to other needs
My understanding why Maryland is so financially dysfunctional stems from them spending a fortune (for them) to re-vamp their stadium, but their fan base didn't generate enough revenue to defray the obligations from the bonds they had to sell thus the B1G and Delany are pretty much their sugar daddy until hopefully, from a B1G perspective, they can add to the B1G coffers cable revenue to be an addition financially to the conference.
So in other words is MD is riding the coat tails of the Big Ten teams that made the conference and in return we're getting nothing but a shitty opponent to play instead of a team like Nebraska.
Good work Delany...
Maryland usually has a decent basketball program plus adding them opens up a bunch of new markets for TV. Adding Maryland was less about the strength of their program than it is about having a stake in the area, in my opinion.
"The only thing That Team Up North will be tasting this year is the salty tears of defeat" - UFM
Agree with the stake part, I'm skeptical though.
ND will lose a couple of the BIG schools on their schedule soon. No way they keep ND on schedule and start playing another conference game.
Maryland finally got a big name backer to start donating money in the guy from Under Armour. Hopefully they can become the next Oregon when it comes to receiving funds. Obviously UA isn't on the same level as Nike, but you get my point.
The UA already said he would pay any ACC buyout that came out of the lawsuit.
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