Newly obtained Maryland emails offer look at period surrounding Big Ten decision

Big Ten contract remains under wraps

December 02, 2013|By Jeff Barker | The Baltimore Sun

It's not easy obtaining specific information about Maryland's deal with the Big Ten. The school's contract with the conference isn't available through the league or the school.  Officials say the agreement contains proprietary information.

Before entering into talks with the Big Ten, Maryland president Wallace Loh signed a non-disclosure agreement pledging to keep details out of public view.

I know there can be competitive disadvantages to revealing certain types of financial information. But the decision to join the Big Ten is such a significant one -- it goes to the very core of the public university's identity -- that I've wanted to learn as much as I could and pass it along to our readers.

I hoped to learn not only about the agreement,  but more about how it was negotiated and what the prevailing sentiment was among Terps coaches and others who will directly feel the effects of the switch.

The result has been two stories based on emails obtained from public-records requests. The first story focused on Maryland's PR strategy to try to reverse early negative fan feelings about the Big Ten move. It appeared on Nov. 6.

The second story appeared Sunday and chronicles the initial strong reactions against the conference shift by Maryland men's basketball coach Mark Turgeon and women's basketball coach Brenda Frese. Both say they now support the move.

I also tried to highlight other noteworthy topics, including an email from regents board chair James Shea expressing his hope that Terps fans' '"toxic" behavior at rivalry-type games will improve in the Big Ten.

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