Gophers men's basketball coach Tubby Smith might have a lot of contacts around the Washington, D.C., area, but that doesn't mean he had any early clues about Maryland joining the Big Ten.
"I'm really excited about it," he said. "I was as surprised as anyone -- boy, they kept that one under wraps for a while."
Maryland made official the news that it would join the Big Ten in 2014 on Monday, the latest shift in a trend of ever-changing conferences. Some critics say the constant realignment corrupts parity and buries old rivalries.
But Smith, who is from Scotland, Md., had a positive reaction to this move -- which will boost the Big Ten, help expand recruiting and provide a personal benefit of getting back home more often, he said. The exposure should help with luring recruits in an area he calls "very fertile."
"It's a good addition to the Big Ten -- if we're going to expand, why not expand in that market?" he said. "Talk about the greatest city in the world and the DC and Baltimore area."