Former ACC commissioner Gene Corrigan said Sunday night that he is "absolutely flabbergasted" to hear that Maryland is close to leaving the league for the Big Ten after a nearly 60-year association.
"It's historic, all right. It's shocking to me," the 84-year-old Corrigan said from his home in Keswick, Va. "I don't get it. I don't get it at all. It just blows me away. They're a charter member of the ACC -- they're not just a member. Virginia wasn't even an original member. "
Corrigan, whose association with the ACC dates back nearly as long as Maryland's, said that the ACC has treated Maryland well from a financial standpoint "because they haven't done a good job raising funds themselves."
While he understands why Maryland would pursue a more lucrative television contract -- "it's a money thing," he said -- Corrigan said that it makes less sense than Notre Dame joining the ACC for a five-game football schedule and Olympic sports.
"They play the games that the ACC plays -- they play soccer, they play lacrosse -- it makes sense for them to find a league that played the same games. Does anybody in the Big Ten play lacrosse?" said Corrigan, a Baltimore native who played and coached the sport at Virginia. "Of course it saddens me. I'm actually shocked by this. I'm absolutely blown away."
In terms of the ever-changing college landscape, Maryland's departure after six decades in the ACC is rivaled only by Nebraska leaving the Big 12 for the Big Ten in 2011. The Cornhuskers were an original member of what was called "The Big Six Conference" that was formed in 1928 after the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association broke apart.