Big Ten gains big recruiting, TV markets with addition of Maryland, Rutgers - Omaha.com
Published Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 1:00 am / Updated at 9:36 am
Big Ten gains big recruiting, TV markets with addition of Maryland, Rutgers

LINCOLN — The University of Maryland became the 13th member of the Big Ten Conference on Monday. Rutgers University is expected to claim a 14th slot today.

With Nebraska in only its second year of Big Ten competition and still adjusting to its new surroundings, the addition of two new schools in 2014 means there will be further adjustments in store.

»Division changes: Big Ten athletic directors will review divisions in the next three to five months, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said. Early reports indicate that Maryland and Rutgers would join the eastern-leaning Leaders Division. Illinois is expected to move from the Leaders to the western-tilted Legends, of which Nebraska and Iowa are members.

»The number of league football games: Schools currently play eight games per season. Nine is a strong possibility, Delany said, noting that “our fans want to see these games.''

»Added conference basketball games: Coaches want fewer than the current 18 games. Delany wants more, up to 22. “The compromise is somewhere in the middle,'' Delany said. “I hope we play more games.''

In this era of conference realignment — Nebraska took part in 2011 by moving from the Big 12 to the Big Ten — change has become radical and rapid. Could there be a No. 15 and a No. 16 on standby for membership, which would turn the Big Ten into the country's first superconference?

“I don't know,'' University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Harvey Perlman said Monday afternoon. “It depends on the circumstances.

Harvey Perlman

“I think we're probably going to take a deep pause at this point. But things change.''

Delany declined to discuss further expansion, saying, “It's Maryland's day.''

Tom Osborne and Shawn Eichorst, Nebraska's current and future athletic directors, also preferred not to comment until Rutgers is on board.

Perlman said Nebraska has many reasons for liking the Big Ten's move to the Eastern Seaboard.

“We have lot of alumni in Washington, D.C., and along the East Coast,'' he said. “When we played at Virginia Tech and at Wake Forest, we had big crowds of people who said to me, 'I wish you guys would play on the East Coast more often.'

“So from Nebraska's selfish point of view, it opens up opportunities for us, including some fairly significant recruiting markets.''

Maryland President Wallace Loh, a former provost at Iowa, bluntly stated that money was the No. 1 driver for moving to the Big Ten.

Two years ago, when Loh and Athletic Director Kevin Anderson came to Maryland, the school had an athletic budget deficit. Eight sports were cut in response. Loh vowed that he never wanted Terrapin athletics to face that again.

If projections on increased TV money are accurate, the Big Ten's annual payout per school could rise from $24 million now to $30 million to $35 million in a few years. The ACC's current payout per school is $17 million.

Maryland will begin studies to reinstate as many sports as possible.

Nebraska didn't have financial troubles when it changed leagues but did have worries about Big 12 stability and revenue distribution.

“That's the great thing about the Big Ten — it's stable, even though we are now expanding again,'' Perlman said. “But the core is stable and the revenue is stable. That does give you comfort.''

Maryland and Rutgers are land-grant, research universities. Maryland has an enrollment of 37,000, and is located just outside Washington, D.C., in College Park, Md.

Rutgers is the State University of New Jersey with an enrollment of 58,000. The main campus is in Piscataway, N.J., on the south edge of the Newark/New York City metro area.

Lincoln is 1,205 miles from College Park and 1,285 miles from Piscataway.

Perlman said the geography isn't ideal for Husker travel, but he noted that conferences are moving outside their current geographic footprints to gain TV exposure and to take advantage of demographic shifts.

“It's actually easier to get access into Maryland and Rutgers than some places we go now,'' he said. “There will be some added costs, but the ease of travel won't be bad.''

Perlman said he has no second thoughts about Nebraska's having changed leagues, and doubts that Maryland and Rutgers will either.

“Everything is good about it,'' he said. “It's been very welcoming, and this is a very collaborative conference. I didn't feel like the newbie for more than a couple of weeks after we actually got membership.''

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND

Location: College Park, Md.

Established: 1856

Enrollment: 37,000

Colors: Red, white, black and gold

Mascot: Terrapins

What's a terrapin? The Diamondback Terrapin, a giant turtle, is Maryland's state reptile. In 1962, football coach H.C. Byrd requested the mascot to be the terrapin. The team used to be called the “Old Liners.”)

Distance from Lincoln: 1,205 miles (20 hours, 24 minutes by car)

Academics: A member of the prestigious AAU, UM is ranked No. 19 among public universities by U.S. News & World Report. It has 30 academic programs in the U.S News Top 10. Maryland has produced four Nobel Prize winners since 1997.

Famous alumni: Jim Henson (Muppets creator), Boomer Esiason (NFL star), Carl Bernstein (Watergate reporter), Sergey Brin (Google co-founder), David Simon (TV writer/director), Connie Chung (TV news anchor), Larry David (Seinfeld creator).

Contact the writer: 402-444-1024, lee.barfknecht@owh.com

Contact the writer: Lee Barfknecht

lee.barfknecht@owh.com    |   402-444-1024    |  

Lee Barfknecht has won nine national writing awards from four separate organizations, and is a 12-time winner of the Nebraska sportswriter of the year award. He covers Big Ten football and basketball, Nebraska basketball and other college financial issues for The World-Herald.

Metro transit recommends streetcar, rapid-transit bus line for Omaha
6-mile stretch of Highway 75 is the road not taken
After decades looking in, Republican Dan Frei seeks chance to take action
Cause of Omaha power outage along Regency Parkway unclear
Ben Sasse, Shane Osborn try to pin label of D.C. insider on each other
Curious about government salaries? Look no further
Easter Sunday temperatures climb into 80s in Omaha area
Omaha police investigate two nonfatal shootings
City Council to vote on adding Bluffs pedestrian safety lights
Sole big donor to Beau McCoy says he expects nothing in return
Convicted killer Nikko Jenkins might await his sentence in prison
Kelly: 70 years after a deadly D-Day rehearsal, Omahan, WWII vet will return to Europe
Midlands runners ready for Boston Marathon
Families from area shelters treated to meal at Old Chicago
Firefighters battle brush fire near Fontenelle Forest
Sioux City riverboat casino prepares to close, still hoping to be saved
Omaha high schoolers to help canvass for Heartland 2050
Mizzou alumni aim to attract veterinary students to Henry Doorly Zoo
Grant ensures that Sioux City can start building children's museum
Party looks to 'nudge' women into public office in Iowa
For birthday, Brownell-Talbot student opts to give, not get
Two taken to hospital after fire at Benson home
Grace: Pipe organ concert a tribute to couple's enduring love
Omaha-area jails and ERs new front line in battling mental illness
Civil rights hearing to consider voting policies in Midwest
< >
COLUMNISTS »
Kelly: 70 years after a deadly D-Day rehearsal, Omahan, WWII vet will return to Europe
A World War II veteran from Omaha will return this week to Europe to commemorate a tragedy in the run-up to D-Day.
Dickson’s Week in Review, April 13-19
On Twitter some guy tweeted that the spring game isn’t taken as seriously as a regular-season contest. What was your first clue? When the head coach entered waving a cat aloft?
Kelly: A California university president returns to her Nebraska roots on Ivy Day
The main speaker at today's Ivy Day celebration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a college president who grew up roping calves and earned her Ph.D. at the prestigious Oxford University in England.
Breaking Brad: Stuck in a claw machine? You get no Easter candy
I know of one kid in Lincoln who will be receiving a lump of coal from the Easter Bunny, just as soon as he's extricated from that bowling alley claw machine.
Breaking Brad: Mountain lion season's over, but the bunny's fair game!
Thursday was the last day of a Nebraska Legislature session. Before leaving town, legislators passed a bill to hold a lottery to hunt the Easter Bunny.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Meridian Med Spa
50% Off Botox®, Botox® Bridal Party, Fillers and Peels
Buy Now
PHOTO GALLERIES »
< >
SPOTLIGHT »
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
WORLD-HERALD ALERTS »
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for Omaha.com's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »