Maryland, Rutgers in talks with Big Ten

  • Article by: NEWS SERVICES
  • Updated: November 17, 2012 - 10:24 PM

Adding the East Coast schools would appear to benefit the conference by expanding the reach of its TV network.

Maryland and Rutgers are in discussions with the Big Ten to possibly join the conference in 2014, a person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press.

The person spoke Saturday night on condition of anonymity because neither the conference nor the schools want to publicly discuss their plans.

ESPN.com first reported that the Big Ten was looking into expanding to 14 teams by adding Maryland and Rutgers. The Chicago Tribune and Washington Post also reported Maryland was in talks to leave the Atlantic Coast Conference, where it is a charter member.

The person said Maryland would have to be "the first domino to fall," but added that an agreement could be reached as soon as this week for both schools.

The Washington Post, also citing an unnamed source, said the University System of Maryland's Board of Regents was to be presented with a written proposal on Sunday but has yet to vote on the issue. The board will meet Monday to discuss the issue.

The Big Ten has 12 members after adding Nebraska last season. The ACC recently added Notre Dame as a member in all sports except football and hockey. Rutgers, in New Jersey, is in the Big East.

A move to the Big Ten would be an economic boon for the Maryland athletic department, which this year cut seven varsity sports because of declining finances. One television executive told the Chicago Tribune he figured the conference's motivation would be so the lucrative Big Ten Network could expand its viewership.

Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany appeared to close the door on expansion in September, saying: "We are very pleased with both our current conference membership and our conference structure."

Delany declined to returns calls and texts from the Chicago Tribune on Saturday, as did several other Big Ten officials.

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