|The University of Maryland, a charter member of the ACC, is set to leave the conference after 59 years to join the Big Ten. The announcement was made at a press conference at 3:00 p.m. today (Monday) that included University President Wallace D. Loh, University System of Maryland Chancellor Brit Kirwan, Director of Athletics Kevin Anderson, and Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany. Most Terrapin coaches were also in attendance.|
President Loh called the university's Board of Regents overwhelmingly supportive of the move and cited three primary reasons for the decision. First, the new affiliation will ensure the long-term viability and financial support for the athletic program and student-athletes. That may include the reinstatement of teams that were previously cut. Second, the school seeks a better alignment of athletics and the academic mission of the institution and intends for athletics to support that mission, in part by providing funds for students in financial need. Third, Loh said that the move offers Maryland the chance to join the Big Ten's academic consortium, which will better support the school's academic program.
The change is scheduled for July 1, 2014. The press conference, still underway as this is being posted, has so far not addressed what will happen to specific teams, including men's and women's lacrosse, once Maryland is a Big Ten member. An update and/or press release from the university will be added later.
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Release from the Big Ten:
Park Ridge, Ill. -- The Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors (COP/C) announced unanimous approval today for the University of Maryland to join the Big Ten Conference effective July 1, 2014, with competition to begin in all sports for the 2014-15 academic year. The University of Maryland also looks forward to joining the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), a consortium of world-class research institutions dedicated to advancing their academic missions.
â€œToday is a watershed moment for the University of Maryland,â€ said university president Dr. Wallace D. Loh. â€œMembership in the Big Ten Conference is in the strategic interest of the University of Maryland. It will not only ensure the financial vitality of Maryland Athletics for decades to come, but the extensive opportunities in the CIC for collaborations with our peer AAU and flagship universities in education, research, and innovation will boost the University of Maryland's ascendancy in academic excellence.â€
â€œThe Big Ten Presidents and Chancellors are pleased to welcome the University of Maryland to the Big Ten Conference,â€ said COP/C Chair and University of Iowa President Sally Mason. â€œThe University of Maryland is one of the premier public research universities in the country and represents a natural alignment with our other member institutions. Their top-ranked academic and athletic programs will be a tremendous addition to our conference.â€
â€œToday is a historic day for both the University of Maryland and for Maryland Athletics,â€ said director of athletics Kevin Anderson. â€œThe Big Ten is an outstanding conference comprised of flagship research universities. Our new peers share our pursuit of both athletic and academic excellence. We are thrilled to join the Big Ten and look forward to beginning this next chapter in Maryland Athletics starting in 2014.â€
In order for an institution to be admitted to the Big Ten Conference, it must submit a written application, which must then be approved by at least 70 percent of the Big Ten COP/C. The University of Maryland formally submitted an application to join the Big Ten Conference Monday morning. The Big Ten COP/C then met via conference call and unanimously approved UMD's application.
â€œThe Big Ten Conference is excited to welcome the University of Maryland beginning with the 2014-15 academic year,â€ said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany. â€œMaryland is a tradition-rich institution with a history of academic and athletic excellence. They're a great fit and we look forward to a great future.â€