Update: Maryland’s departure leaves ACC with 13

UPDATED, 12:56 p.m. with John Swofford statement: Maryland has left the ACC to join the Big Ten. Rutgers is expected to follow suit, leaving the Big East.

Maryland will reportedly begin Big Ten play in 2014-15. Until the ACC can find a replacement, it leaves the conference with an uneven 13 teams. Maryland was a charter member of the ACC at the league’s formation in 1953. It is just the second school to leave the ACC since its founding in 1953, following South Carolina in 1971.

“Our best wishes are extended to all of the people associated with the University of Maryland,” ACC commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. “Since our inception, they have been an outstanding member of our conference and we are sorry to see them exit. For the past 60 years the Atlantic Coast Conference has exhibited leadership in academics and athletics. This is our foundation and we look forward to building on it as we move forward.”

The athletic department has faced considerable financial stress, cutting seven teams over the summer. The Big Ten’s television revenues were undoubtedly a factor. The Big Ten distributed $284 million to its 12 teams for the 2012 fiscal year, a per-school average of $23.7 million.

ACC teams will receive $12.3 million in the current fiscal year, although the league will re-do its ESPN deal as a result of Notre Dame’s contract to play five ACC games annually. (It’s likely Maryland’s departure will also figure into negotiations.)

Consider this: According to reports from ESPN and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in May and June, Big Ten newcomer Nebraska did not receive a full share, drawing about $14 million while the other 11 schools took $24.6 million.

While the addition of Maryland and Rutgers will likely cause the Big Ten’s television deals to be re-done, were the math to hold, Maryland would receive more in a partial share as a Big Ten member than it would as a full ACC member.

There is the matter of the $50 million exit fee, instituted in September, to leave the ACC. It is interesting to note that Maryland president Wallace Loh voted against the fee increase, from $20 million, on “legal and philosophical grounds.” Florida State was the only other school to vote against it.

Loh told the Post that he disagreed with “punishing people if they simply exit a relationship.” The article also stated that Loh repeatedly praised the school’s relationship with the ACC and that it would continue to be a part of the league for years to come.

The obvious possibility to fill the 14th spot would be Notre Dame, which entered a deal with the ACC to join the conference for every sport but football and play five games annually against ACC football teams. The rise of the Fighting Irish on the football field likely lessens that possibility. Given the team’s declining stature in recent seasons, the school’s bargaining power with both the BCS and NBC had likely shrunk. However, with Notre Dame (at least for this season) a national title contender, its viability to remain an independent with a seat at the BCS table and to command a better television contract (presumably from NBC) than it could as a full ACC member has probably improved.

From a competition standpoint, how the ACC handles 13 teams, particularly in football, is going to be a bit of a challenge. The Big Ten was not separated into divisions when it was an 11-team league and did not face the predicament of one division with seven teams and the other with six, which would be the ACC’s lot starting in 2014 if it cannot find a 14th member.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

171 comments Add your comment

Supersenior

November 19th, 2012
12:03 pm

Good point about ND’s resurgence meaning it doesn’t need the ACC.

Jacket Fan

November 19th, 2012
12:03 pm

Go get Louisville.

www

November 19th, 2012
12:06 pm

get penn state.

www

November 19th, 2012
12:09 pm

but no rush on getting a 14th team, really.

notre dame is a de facto 14th member at the moment, just playing a 5 team schedule rather than a full 8.

no need to make a change just to balance out the schedule any time soon.

www

November 19th, 2012
12:13 pm

as far as mayland goes, good riddance.they bring very little to the table, other than a mostly disinterested washington dc tv market that is more interested in redskins football than anything maryland has put on the field in the past few decades.

if the terps would rather play iowa, illinois, purdue, northwestern, indiana and minnesota than unc, duke, fsu, clemson, gt, vt, virginia, nc state, etc, then more power to them.

to me, this is more an indictment of the terrible tv deals that the acc office has saddled their members with than anything else.

TX Jacket

November 19th, 2012
12:17 pm

make a play for PSU and UConn to get to 15 plus Notre Dame

George Stein

November 19th, 2012
12:17 pm

The most critical aspect of this is that the ACC must hold firm on the buyout. Other than that, if anyone wants to watch Maryland-Indiana in football, knock yourself out.

B. Thenet

November 19th, 2012
12:23 pm

Rumors around the B1G that they have been speaking to Tech, UNC, and Virginia. Though they would prefer UNC and UVA, Tech is an option for them.

Kitster

November 19th, 2012
12:25 pm

The Big Ten couldn’t split into two divisions with only 11 teams anyway. Per the SEC doing so in 1992 – a conference can split into divisions and have a championship game with 12 teams… per the NCAA.. right?

Delbert D.

November 19th, 2012
12:36 pm

I can’t imagine Louisville being invited to join the ACC because of their low academic ranking. I don’t see Penn State leaving the Big Ten. Maryland and Rutgers are two of their traditional rivals and are less than 4 hours drives.

GIVE ME A BREAK

November 19th, 2012
12:48 pm

Not sure the Lady Jackets want UConn.

Paul in NH

November 19th, 2012
12:52 pm

PS won’t leave the B1G and ND is a few years away from joining a league. UConn is the most likely team to join the ACC. That will produce one heck of a b’ball league

GIVE ME A BREAK

November 19th, 2012
12:54 pm

Might be cool to steal Vandy.

Bye Bye Maryland

November 19th, 2012
12:57 pm

Hate to lose an original member of the ACC. But, bye bye Maryland. Empty stadiums don’t help and they will have a hard time filling it if they can’t win in the Big 10. Would love for Penn State to join ACC, but next ACC team could be UConn, or possibly Vanderbilt. Vandy is having a good year in football this year, but can’t compete on a year-to-year basis in the SEC. It fits in well with the academics of the ACC, plus it could be more competitive in football in the ACC.

REW

November 19th, 2012
1:14 pm

Its just Maryland……

GIVE ME A BREAK

November 19th, 2012
1:17 pm

It will take Maryland 5+ years to break even from the $50,000,000 penalty. That’s not what I would call a solid financial plan. A lot of negative things can happen in 5 years. I wonder if the fans like it.

Habersham Dawg

November 19th, 2012
1:21 pm

Why would Vandy leave SEC money for ACC money?

www

November 19th, 2012
1:24 pm

they wouldn’t. vandy is not coming to the acc, though it makes sense for other reasons.

Dave1

November 19th, 2012
1:32 pm

The ACC should invite Central Florida or Temple.

will

November 19th, 2012
1:34 pm

garbage move for Maryland and the Big Ten – someone tell Delany that Hawaii is unhappy in the WAC – that Honolulu market is a monster! And who in the nation doesn’t want to see Hawaii/Maryland in football? Or Hawaii/Rutgers in football. Can’t wait!

Bill

November 19th, 2012
1:34 pm

This isn’t about what school is best anymore for a conference. It’s about markets….period. Maryland and Pa St were rumored to be Big 10 bound as far back as the late 70’s. This shouldn’t shock anyone with the 5th wheel status the ACC has in the new Football Post Season in 2 years. If Swofford didn’t get the ACC into the Big 5, FSU would have bolted in a New York minute.Still may, but wonder if alum really want to play Iowa St and Kansas on the road every other year….nasty travel for those Floridian sunshine lovers.
The real question now becomes if the Big10 wants to go to 16. Doubt UNC would leave the ACC, but UVa comes into play as a natural rival for Md and Pa St. So does Tech, but can’t see GT as an outpost for the Big10 with no other Southern partner. UVa and Kansas make much more sense. All universities going to the Big 10 have to be AAU members. UNC, UVA and Tech fit the criteria.

Expect Swofford to call Vandy and Kansas this week to find out if they are interested. The ACC has to do something quick to entice UVa and possibly Tech to stay. UConn isn’t something that would make those 2 happy if the Big10 called. Besides, they have lost the NY/NJ market as well as the Baltimore market.The D.C. market to some extent, too. Adding Hartford isn’t New York. UConn gets some pub in NYC, but it’s secondary. Besdes, Rutgers has become NYC’s adopted team last few years.Nashville/Memphis and KC/SL would give the ACC good markets in place of Baltimore.

The ACC should have saw this coming…think they did when MD voted against the 50 mill exit fee. Honestly, it hurts, but losing UVa would be much, much worse.So would losing Tech. It’s beginning again…..Conference Realignment a Go-Go.

Habersham Dawg

November 19th, 2012
1:35 pm

So what the ACC should look for is a strong academic school in a weaker conference that shares many of the schools other characteristics, such as very strong academics, strong in basketball, and good in football. So, real legitimate schools would be Louisville, Syracuse, Memphis, Northern Illinois, and Kent State. I think Memphis would be a good fit with the ACC or Syracuse.

Ken Sugiura

November 19th, 2012
1:35 pm

kitster – you’re right.
B. Thenet – i’m pretty confident there’s not much to that talk.
Give me a break – true, but something tells me MaChelle Joseph wouldn’t be casting the deciding vote on this one.
Vanderbilt would not leave. It’s a good fit, obviously, but the difference in money makes it a non-starter.
CBS Sports is reporting the league is already talking to Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville and South Florida.

maryland is for crabs

November 19th, 2012
1:37 pm

This is about money only. As an ACC fan Maryland was just kind of Blah anyway…they were a charter member of the conference but who counted them among their worst enemies? Not UVA…not UNC. I dont see any difference for them in the Big 10 other than money….Maryland vs Northwestern will have the same appeal as Maryland vs NC State…buh bye….nobody in the Big 10 is fearing the turtle…but even worse, nobody in the ACC is missing them!

jbright

November 19th, 2012
1:37 pm

Why would Penn State leave the Big 10 for the ACC and earn less Money? That’s just dumb. As long as Notre Dame has the NBC contract you can forget them joining the ACC in football. I think Byrd stadium will get filled when you play Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Wisconsin and Ohio State their fans travel well. What Maryland fan wants to see them play ACC Juggernauts like UVA, Duke and Wake Forest in football? In addition Georgia Tech, Miami, and BC are a shell of what they used to be. NC State has been down after Phillip Rivers left; North Carolina has NCAA issues thanks to Butch Davis; and VATech is having a down year.

From a Basketball perspective only playing Duke and North Carolina once a year and Pitt twice a year made this decision easier. Since 2000 Maryland Basketball has been the only other ACC school to win a National Championship aside from Duke or North Carolina. Maryland has had some bad years since their title run so in essence the ACC has been a 2 team conference that now ranks behind the Big 10. NC State in now becoming relevant again. Adding Syracuse and Pitt will last until Boehiem retires and truth be told they really did not want to come to the ACC. Maryland will have new Basketball rivalries like Michigan State, Indiana (Who they beat for the National Title), Illinois and perhaps Michigan. UMD gets more money and escapes the Carolina bias that all ACC schools feel who are not from North or South Carolina.

J to the G

November 19th, 2012
1:49 pm

It’s a musical chairs death match amongst the BCS conferences: four will become sixteen team super-conferences, the music will stop, and the other two (likely the Big East and now either the Big XII or ACC) will get the remaining scraps. It’s about TV money; the ACC is now in a bad spot because they not only have a poorer TV contract, but that contract runs to 2027.

As a Maryland alum/fan, I can’t say I’m thrilled. But the arguments against the move mostly revolve around an ACC that doesn’t exist any more. Our ‘rival’ was slated to be Pittsburgh, with whom we have almost no history. We would only play basketball against Duke OR UNC at home each year, and possibly only one game against each. And, really: does anyone *want* to play Wake Forest or Boston College in football (or basketball, for that matter)?

Add to all this: my Terps are already bad in football, so being a B1G doormat won’t be much different (except at least we get to have Michigan, Ohio St, etc. come to Byrd). On the other hand, this past weekend proved how incredibly awful the ACC is in football, outside of FSU. The three most recent arrivals are all struggling this year, and half of the championship matchup was decided by a combo of Duke/GA Tech (the latter having been terrible for much of the year, the former being, well, Duke) and Miami banning itself from competing.

Bill

November 19th, 2012
1:51 pm

The Irish joig the ACC can only help….seriously, CBS Sports must be throwing names out there.South Florida wouldn’t be a good fit because of Miami.No need, unless Miami wants them in the ACC.UConn is the Usual Suspect, but would think the ACC knows they have them if they can’t do better. Otherwise, Rutgers would have already received an invite by now.
Louisville is possibility. Getting into a Southern state that recruits nationally and has geographic inlets around Ohio isn’t all that bad. Cincy is probably not big enough TV wise for the ACC, but ity does push them into Big 10 country a bit more. Think they better look at biggertargets to prevent losing UVa. They HAVE to be thinking about the Big10 in Charlottesville this afternoon, if only to cover all bases.ACC can’t afford to lose UVa.

BTW, jbright, you are 100 % wrong about Pitt and Syracuse. They asked the ACC for an invite. Syracuse was an ACC target when VT was forced into the ACC. The campus was like a morgue when they found out they weren’t coming to the ACC back then.

GTBob

November 19th, 2012
1:52 pm

Im not sure in 5 years that anyone will care that Maryland ever left. Of all the teams in the ACC they were probably the easiest to let go of.

Saban never sleeps

November 19th, 2012
1:54 pm

La Tech, MTSU or Florida International all would love to be in the ACC. Maybe the ACC Champs and the Conference USA Champs can have a “who gives a crap” title game in the papa john bowl.

Dadgum.........

November 19th, 2012
1:55 pm

Seeing Maryland leave makes my day. Now if we could just get rid of Duke. Seriously, of course that’s not happening because we have to have some guaranteed wins. Anyway all this begs the question, WWFSD. What will Florida State do. I will guarantee you the ACC fee is quasi in nature and they will never get 50 mil no matter how hard a stand they take. Florida State will get courted like a prom queen….again. John Swofford has probably been on the phone with FSU all morning and last night begging FSU to hang around.

I’m not sure GT is going anywhere but if FSU is lured away by say the Big 12 then I can all but assure you Clemson is leaving. VT may as well eventhough they are required by law to remain in the ACC as long as UVA is in the league. That hasn’t been tested but may soon. All of this has to do with basketball driving the bus instead of football. In addition it is the fraternal handshake amongst the “big 4″ of Wake, Duke, UNC, and NCSU that many of the other members resent or are starting to do so. The ACC simply isn’t real relevant in football and I’m not sure that GT is best served by the association with the conference any longer.

Think about it. The ACC has expanded recently with BC, VT, Pitt, Syracuse. Now the main talk is UConn taking Maryland’s spot. VT has ben a Godsend and without them this conference would really be in bad shape. FSU is watching closely and GT,VT, Clemson, and Miami are watching FSU closely. If FSU goes and I would say it is 50/50 then the dominoes will fall. Swofford has a magician act to do to keep FSU. It will need to be more elaborate than pulling a rabbit out of the hat. The act is not named UConn.

Peach Fuzz

November 19th, 2012
2:03 pm

The ACC added Pitt and Syracuse and lost Md. A sum gain. If they add UConn, a very big university with a widespread alumni base, and a bright university future, equals an even greater sum gain. Don’t get fr this that ACC is crumbling. I understand Md going to BIG, a lateral academic move. FSU and Clemson will not opt for SEC or B12 resulting in step down academically.

2 cents

November 19th, 2012
2:11 pm

@dadgum…if GT were better it would be easier to support your notion (”not sure that GT is best served by the association with the conference any longer”) …I’m a long-timeTech fan that thinks we are capable of so much more, but we arent a beauty queen either. Would Tech leave if they got a Big 10 invite? Maybe we should, lord knows we need the money. But we arent in a position to say the ACC doesnt deserve us. To me it feels like the right conference for us. An unlikely upgrade would be SEC or Big 10 (careful what you ask for)….and we wont consider a downgrade to Big East.

Dadgum.........

November 19th, 2012
2:12 pm

Money talks and bullsh**t walks. Swofford better be doing some sweet talking because while the conference isn’t crumbling the small tremors have at least jarred the mortar. Football drives the bus and the rear wheel just had a blowout, ok, maybe the spare needs replacing but who we get as a replacement needs to be someone that makes the other passengers happy as far as football is concerned and is at least adequate academically. Cincinnati sure could make some sense here.

J to the G

November 19th, 2012
2:13 pm

@Peach Fuzz – while I wouldn’t yet say the ACC is crumbling, if FSU and Miami bolt (hello 16-team SEC?), then it’s a different ballgame. Plus, in terms of replacement members, the ACC is looking at diminishing returns, both in terms of fan bases and media markets. Anyway, if this is the start of the next round of conference realignment, expect it to get ugly in a hurry… if nobody has yet, we should start the Big East Deathwatch…

Bill

November 19th, 2012
2:14 pm

Dadgum..like I said, ACC has to think bigger than UConn. But there is a real interesting scenario unfolding with Uva and FSU on opposite sides of the issue.
UVa leaving is a real possibility. Especially if the Big 10 wants them.. UConn would actually be better for UVa staying than say, Louisville or S Florida. But FSU wouldn’t want UConn. They would probably prefer Louisville. Now, Swofford is faced with a choice of appeasing one school and potentially alienating another.If FSU does want the Big 12, Clemson will follow. Miami and GT wouldn’t be far behind.Seriously, that could happen with the new SEC-Big 12 tie-in. Swofford knows this…..so, he has to at least do something that at least pleases both Va and FSU. Not an easy situation. Sure he was aware of this the day Md voted against the 50 mill fee.
You would think ND joining would be enough to keep other members happy. But the Big10 offers huge money, something the ACC can’t do right now.TheSEC tried a pre-emptive strike against the ACC when they signed the Big 12 to a title game, thus eliminating the need for Texas and Oklahoma to leave.Honestly, the ACC is in a rough spot if the Big 10 calls UVa.or Tech. Believe me, both would go. The money is huge for either to ignore.
Don’t bellieve me?….who ever would have thought TxA&M would have left Texas? Or even Md leaving UVa a few years ago.The world in athletics is about super greed and positioning yourself in a shrinking gold mine that has become College Football. It’s going to be 4 16 team Super Conferences….with the Big12 or ACC eating the scraps. This is why Swofford has to act NOW.

Notre Dame

November 19th, 2012
2:15 pm

is playing this brilliantly…half hearted comittment to the ACC (fills their schedule and serves their interests) while waiting on the conference alignment BS to finish….meanwhile they are relevant again. I hate it but they are in a position of strength again.

Habersham Dawg

November 19th, 2012
2:16 pm

I’d forgotten that Syracuse and Pitt would already be joining the ACC. UConn or Memphis would be a good addition.

Terpman

November 19th, 2012
2:16 pm

As a Maryland grad and fan….from a $ standpoint almost to good to be true for Terps, on the $50M exit fee, that is being negotiated ….FSU was the other school who balked at the Exit fee, I could see them in the SEC, very easily….Suddenly Terps have 40% more revenue potential, no wonder why Terps acted so fast, and Big 10 wanted the TV markets of Balt/Wash and then Rutgers gives them NJ/NYC….ACC is in a tough spot, strong rumor that UCONN replaces Terps, good for Bball…Maryland looking to the future will not have to worry about $

Dadgum.........

November 19th, 2012
2:17 pm

Has anyone else heard the rumor that the NCAA will not allow Tech to go to a bowl if they lose to Georgia and FSU and end up with a losing record? They are retracting the UCLA rule from last year. Ken, have you heard anything on this?

Peach Fuzz

November 19th, 2012
2:20 pm

Jto the G, UNC, UVa, Duke and Wake, belong to the same academic fraternity that others wud like to join. FSU andLemson admins will not sacrifice academics for football. Neither would Shaleili (sp ) allow Miamito move either. Miami officials want to clean up their act as well, and therefore wud not leave the ACC as well.

www

November 19th, 2012
2:24 pm

can we give boston college back to the big east in exchange for west virginia from the big 12? maybe throw in syracuse and wake forest in an effort to get texas or oklahoma?

makes as much sense as maryland in the big 10/13.

Bill

November 19th, 2012
2:24 pm

Maryland voting unaminously to leave was a shock to me. They must have felt left out since UVa -VT became chief ACC rivals.It’s a smart move for MD financially.
Seriously, UVa will be contacted by the Big10…then again, maybe they already were beforer Rutgers.
No way the ACC allows Md to downgrade the fee of 50 mill. Would be like opening the door for FSU to leave if the school was ticked over UConn replacing Md…..remember, it’s all about the Gridiron.

www

November 19th, 2012
2:25 pm

but honestly – penn state is in play.

the acc office should be doing whatever is possible to get penn state in the acc.

Dadgum.........

November 19th, 2012
2:25 pm

Bill……yep totally agree with you. One thing to keep in mind and not many are aware of this. VT is bound by law to remain in teh ACC as long as UVA does. It was UVA that made the grand stand on getting VT in the conference but VT cant bolt at will. They would have already left if that wasnt the case. If there was ever a team that could benefit greatly from an SEC perspective it is VT. I havent heard any of the UVA talk about leaving but if they do you can bet your very last dollar VT is gone.

If Memphis ever entered the ACC they would lose every member they had.

Bill Campbell

November 19th, 2012
2:26 pm

No PSU. Too much baggage.

Dadgum.........

November 19th, 2012
2:29 pm

Penn State would be foolish to leave Big 10 money for ACC money. Not to mention the uneasy footing in the conference as we speak.

jbright

November 19th, 2012
2:33 pm

Once again, why would PSU leave the BIG Ten for less ACC money! Get real it will never happen and ND will never join it football either!

Based on Loh’s comments Maryland is going to the courts to have the exit fee reduced.

Dadgum.........

November 19th, 2012
2:34 pm

Just from my own selfish perspective, I am about ready for GT to find new conference playmates anyway. We’ve been in the ACC 30 years and most marriages dont last half that long. Bringing along the Atlanta market to the Big 10 makes us attractive. It’s a huge upgrade in football and slight upgrade in basketball recently. Laterally academically I would guess. The more I type this the better it sounds.

Dadgum.........

November 19th, 2012
2:37 pm

The Big 10 is paying the Maryland exit fee difference if Maryland doesnt get it reduced via the ACC. Now that’s deep pockets!

Rock on…….looks like GT isn’t going to a bowl game without upsetting UGA or FSU. Damn. Crazy year!

jbright

November 19th, 2012
2:37 pm

Dadgum the BIG Ten is ranked above the ACC in Basketball. Maryland did not go to the BIG Ten they came to UMD. UMD is a contiguous State with another BIG Ten school, I don’t think Georgia meets that requirement.