Big Ten: Frequently Asked Questions



1. When will Maryland join the Big Ten Conference?
The University of Maryland will begin athletic competition in all sports for the 2014-15 academic year.

2. I've heard about the Committee on Institutional Cooperation? What is that exactly?
The CIC is the academic arm of the Big Ten Conference. It is a consortium of universities dedicated to sharing resources, encouraging collaborative research, and offering educational opportunities for faculty and students. The University of Maryland will officially join the CIC in July 2013.

3. How much more money is UMD getting under this agreement?
It is the long-standing policy of the Big Ten Conference not to release the financial details. As the newest member of that family, we will honor that. What we can say is this agreement provides significant financial benefits. Joining the Big Ten allows us to have a fiscally sustainable athletic department for decades to come as well as provide new revenue in support of financial aid and academic programs.

4. Some media reports characterize this as a money grab. Is it?
This partnership with the Big Ten gives our athletic department financial security and sustainability. The financial benefits were a primary consideration. But just as important, this partnership provides our faculty and students with unprecedented academic and research opportunities. This is a story about Maryland aligning itself with other great research institutions. This partnership will enhance our global brand.

5. What happens to lacrosse?
UMD has a number of options. Other Big Ten men's programs compete in the ECAC against some terrific lacrosse programs. Women's programs compete in the ALC, a conference that includes Johns Hopkins. We are very aware that lacrosse is a special sport in the state of Maryland and no matter what conference we compete in, we are committed to continuing to schedule games with Johns Hopkins, Navy and other traditional in-state rivals.

6. Will you now restore the 7 teams cut last year?
President Loh formed the 'President's Commission on Big Ten/CIC Integration' to, in part, consider the restoration of eliminated teams. That process will commence in January 2013 and be complete by June 2013. Any consideration of restoring teams will be done in concert with the appropriate procedures in place with our Athletics Council to ensure we remain in compliance with Title IX. We also plan to work in cooperation with the conference office to see what makes sense for UMD and the Big Ten.

7. Won't this mean more travel costs?
Yes, travel costs will increase. This increase was factored into our financial analysis of the move to the Big Ten.

8. Will UMD have to pay a $50 million exit fee to the ACC?
Because we are currently in litigation with the ACC on this matter, we are limited in what we can share at this time. It is important to note that the funds for any exit amount paid to the ACC will come entirely from athletic revenues. No tax dollars and no tuition dollars will be used to cover any exit payment. Our athletic department is one of only a few programs in the country that is entirely self-sustaining, meaning all athletics-related expenses are covered entirely by athletics-related revenues. Payment of the exit sum was factored into our careful evaluation of the academic, athletic and financial benefits of moving to the Big Ten Conference.

9. What happens to the rivalry with Duke?
We know our fans love the rivalry with Duke and other ACC schools, and there may be ways to keep them on our schedules in a number of sports. But we also believe that our fans will be equally excited about renewing our rivalry with Penn State and start new ones against some of the great Big Ten programs.

10. What is the plan for the extra money? How will it be spent?
The 'President's Commission on Big Ten/CIC Integration' will meet between January 2013 and June 2013 and make recommendations on how to manage and save any incremental revenue from the Big Ten Conference. We are committed to providing the best possible academic and athletic experience for our student-athletes. That is, and will continue to be, our focus. However, joining the Big Ten enables us to create an entirely new model for the relationship between athletics and academics on our campus. Extra revenue will now flow from athletics to the university to support academic programs. It is truly a new model for the University of Maryland.

11. With increased travel times, doesn't this mean more class time lost?
Not necessarily. Some trips previously done by road may now be by air, evening out travel times. Without specific schedules, it's premature to make a definitive statement about travel times and lost class time. But it was something we considered. Our best estimate is that some teams may lose a maximum of one class day each semester.

Consider this...the ACC stretches 1,500 miles from Boston south to Miami...and soon it will stretch more than 600 miles west, to South Bend, Indiana with Notre Dame's admission to the ACC. Maryland teams are accustomed to travel. Miami is 1,100 miles from College Park. Lincoln, Nebraska, the western-most city in the Big Ten is 1,200 miles from College Park.

12. How have fans reacted to leaving the ACC?
Maryland has a very rich and successful tradition in the ACC. For our fans, the ACC is all they've ever known. Change is hard. But, Maryland alumni and fans are savvy. Though many donors sent emails expressing their displeasure at leaving behind such a storied conference, over time many have come to appreciate what membership in the Big Ten will bring to College Park. The prospect of battling teams like Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State, Wisconsin...will slowly win people's hearts. It's just an incredible opportunity for the University of Maryland and our fans.

13. This decision was made quickly. For such an important decision, was that prudent?
It's inherent in this kind of process that the timeline is somewhat compressed. But, that timeline had no impact upon the way we came to this decision. We have done our due diligence.

This was not a decision arrived at lightly. Multiple people spent countless hours poring over the details of this opportunity. In the end, after much thought and deliberation, we all arrived in the same place...in favor of joining the Big Ten.

14. Will this get the athletic department out of its deficit?
Yes. Though the timeframe is still being determined, this agreement provides Maryland athletics with financial security and sustainability for years to come.

15. How long have you agreed to be in the Big Ten?
The Big Ten is our new permanent home, our conference for decades and generations to come.

16. How often will teams like Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State travel here for football?
It is too early to talk about scheduling for any sport. Those decisions will come in the next weeks and months and we will be happy to inform everyone at that time.