Big Ten subsidy to Maryland illuminates travel challenges for schools

Maryland getting millions of dollars from conference

March 18, 2013|By Jeff Barker | The Baltimore Sun

I wrote a story for Saturday’s paper on how the Big Ten privately agreed to subsidize Maryland’s anticipated team travel costs to the tune of $20 million to $30 million.

Here is the link. Maryland is scheduled to join the conference in July 2014. It anticipates its travel budget will approximately double from what it is today.

There is another issue related to travel. It’s how you make sure athletes on more extended road trips can avoid missing too many classes and keep up with their studies.

It’s not just an issue at Maryland, of course, but at many schools. It's becoming more pronounced as realignment sends teams increasingly far away from their campuses.

Rutgers AD Tim Pernetti told me that schools and conferences need creative solutions. Options could include emphasizing weekend games, playing nonconference games closer to home and avoiding clustering too many road trips together.

Athletes already have taxing schedules – games, practices, team meetings and weight room sessions on top of classes and study hall.

Increasing travel requirements adds another layer on top of the existing challenge.

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