Big Ten move doesn't make sense

November 27, 2012

While I deplore the Maryland decision to go to the Big Ten (they cannot even count in that conference) on traditions alone, I find the economic arguments totally without merit ("UM to leave ACC for Big Ten in '14," Nov. 20).

One quote was that Maryland would make more money, estimated at $24 million instead of $17 million per year. After paying the penalty of $50 million, it will take seven years to break even. What makes anyone think the economics seven years from now are going to be the same? As the Big Ten adds more teams, surely their pie will be divided by more teams, and thus, maybe we are back to $17 million!

University officials claim this means they will no longer have to cut or end programs. I hope that is written in blood somewhere. Instead, the budget will balloon to the new income, and the same pressures will exist. They will raise salaries because they have a surplus, they will add new programs, they will do stupid things like fly air charters to games they could take buses for. Then, just like that, we will hear "oh, we're broke again, how did that happen?"

Is it cheaper to take road trips to Northwestern, Michigan, and Indiana then to Virginia Tech, Virginia, or Duke? The only trip that is closer is Penn State, and we remember how well Maryland played those guys. I cannot wait until Ohio State has used Maryland's football team for dismemberment, both home and away. Kevin Plank will have to design a special uniform for those games (all red, perhaps, to hide the blood).

There are a very few schools that really make big money on sports (LSU, Alabama, Ohio State, maybe a handful of others). The rest should get off the rat racetrack and be happy with what they have and make their budgets work for them. There is still a huge academic imbalance with the Big Ten (except Northwestern), meaning Maryland will still be on the short end for recruiting.

In a state where we have a referendum for just about any major decision, I find it appalling that this one was made in a matter of days with little public input.

Jeff Tarleton, Reisterstown

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