By Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun
6:40 PM EDT, August 25, 2011
COLLEGE PARK —
With more than 7 million people in the Baltimore-Washington market, it's inevitable that the University of Maryland will continue to be prominently mentioned — at least in the media — in discussions about conference realignment.
But Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson said in an interview this week that his school's focus is on maximizing its situation in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and that Maryland is not looking to jump leagues.
"We haven't been approached by anybody," Anderson said this week. "We've been talking with the ACC about how we're going to keep our stronghold as a conference and keep the membership intact."
If Texas A&M bolts for the 12-member Southeastern Conference, the SEC may ultimately seek a 14th team for balance. The New York Times reported this week that "there has been speculation about universities like North Carolina and Maryland" as a potential No. 14.
Such reports can put schools in awkward positions because they don't want to appear to be disrespectful by rejecting overtures that haven't been made.
Maryland is one of seven original ACC members. "We're very satisfied with our membership in the ACC," Anderson said. Part of that is based on the school's perception that the ACC, which has a new television deal with ESPN, is not in imminent danger of collapse.
Maryland's position could change, of course, if the ACC were picked apart and there was a move toward giant "superconferences."
ACC Commissioner John Swofford recently addressed reports that Clemson and Florida State were possible targets of the SEC. He told the Associated Press that leaders at every ACC school have said they're "committed to the league, and we're a stable group."
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