Terps fans may remember a spate of stories from 2010 – including a couple by me – about possible early interest by the Big Ten in Maryland.
One of the issues that surfaced then from Terps supporters was travel. There were two concerns – the time spent by the athletes (and ardent fans) to get to Big Ten venues in the Midwest, and the travel costs.
So, I was not surprised to learn recently from multiple sources that – in its private negotiations with the Big Ten this year – Maryland raised the issue of travel expenses. The school had done an initial assessment of its future travel requirements and anticipated increased costs.
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What I know is that the issue was discussed with the Big Ten. That tells me that Maryland believed it had some leverage in the talks and was not afraid to use it.
What I also know is that the matter was resolved to Maryland’s satisfaction. But it’s unclear exactly how. The Big Ten and the school won’t discuss the specifics of their financial arrangements.
When I interviewed him after the Big Ten move was announced, l asked Kevin Anderson about travel in general.
Was he worried that Terps athletes could be spending prolonged periods on the road? That was the concern in 2010 – a year in which it would have been complicated for Maryland to switch conferences because former president C.D. "Dan" Mote Jr. was stepping down and Wallace Loh was just arriving.
Here is what Anderson said:
“I can’t see that there is going to be any disadvantage for any of our student-athletes in our move to the Big Ten. Their family will be able to follow them on the Big Ten Network. There is more TV exposure.”
Anderson said Maryland had weighed athletes’ travel against the benefits of the conference shift. "There are some difficult trips," the athletic director said. "We found that, for the most part, it's not going to be any longer than most of our [ACC] trips. Going to Tallahassee [Fla.] is not the easiest. Going to Miami is probably as long as some of the others."
As always, feel free to weigh in about the conference move.