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Maryland's exit from ACC 'disheartening,' ESPN women's basketball analyst says

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — ESPN college basketball analyst Doris Burke said Saturday that she is disheartened by Maryland’s impending move to the Big Ten Conference and wishes that financial considerations didn’t have to tear leagues apart.

“I get that, financially, Maryland couldn’t turn it down,” Burke said in an interview on the eve of the Final Four, which ESPN is broadcasting.

“My question is, are we ever going to get to a point where an athletics director and a president says, ‘I don’t care about the money. What I care about is a group of institutions who we have longstanding relationships with and who for long stretches have been really good for us’? So money isn’t the be-all, end-all.’ “

Maryland plays Notre Dame on Sunday night in the Final Four. It’s the highest-profile sporting event remaining for Maryland as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference before it joins the Big Ten in July.

Burke said she doesn’t know whether an athletic director realistically could turn down an overture by another conference offering more money in TV contracts. Maryland said its move was largely a financial decision.

“I’ve never lived that [athletic director’s] life,” she said. “But to me, as a sports fan, it’s disheartening."

jeff.barker@baltsun.com

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