The Norman Transcript

Sports

November 20, 2012

Conference realignment continues

(Continued)

COLLEGE PARK, Md. —

Delany said demographics were a huge part of this decision. The population is not growing as quickly in the Big Ten’s current Midwestern footprint as it is in other areas of the country, and it has hampered the Big Ten’s ability to recruit, especially in football, its signature sport. The Big Ten felt it needed to change that.

“We think demographics have fueled our growth the last 100 years,” Delany told the AP in an interview before the news conference. “...What we’re doing is not creating a new paradigm, we’re responding to a new paradigm but for very kind of historic reasons. We understand that success requires a dynamic involvement with rich demographics.”

For both schools, the move should come with long-term financial gain. The Big Ten reportedly paid its members $24.6 million in shared television and media rights revenues this year.

There will be some financial matters to resolve in the short term though. After the ACC added Notre Dame as a member in all sports but football and hockey in September, the league voted to raise the exit fee to $50 million. Maryland was one of two schools that voted against the increased exit fee.

Loh believes the potential financial gain of this deal will more than offset the sum.

“I say we have an arrangement within our membership that will assure the future of Maryland athletics for decades to come,” he said. “As we crunched those numbers, we are able to deal with this issue.”

The Big East’s exit fee is $10 million, but the league also requires a 27-month notification period for departing members. That means Rutgers will not be able to join the Big Ten until 2015 without working out some kind of deal with the Big East.

Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia have all negotiated early withdrawals from the Big East in the past year.

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