The Big Ten Conference reportedly enticed the University of Maryland to join the league with a little more than just a fair share of the financial pie.
The Terrapins were able to secure a significant subsidy from the Big Ten, in addition to the annual payout that all conference members receive, as a way to help offset higher projected travel expenses. The conference promised Maryland the extra cash, which is rumored to be between $20 and $30 million, during negotiations in an effort to convince the school to change its membership from the Atlantic Coast Conference to the Big Ten more attractive.
In November, Maryland announced its decision to leave the ACC, its home for 60 years, to join the Big Ten. The Terps will enter their new conference in 2014.
From the Baltimore Sun:
Maryland got the subsidy after assessing the travel-cost implications of leaving the Atlantic Coast Conference, its home for 60 years.
The cost of sending its teams halfway across the country — as far away as Lincoln, Neb. (1,201 miles), and Iowa City, Iowa (905 miles) — was projected by the school to approximately double its travel budget.
The subsidy underscores how much the Big Ten coveted Maryland and the accompanying Baltimore-Washington television market. Maryland had some leverage in the talks because — unlike some schools exploring jumping conferences — it was not coming from a league, the ACC, that appears in imminent danger of collapse.
Because details of the agreement are kept private, it is not publicly known when the subsidy will be received, or whether it will come in the form of a series of payments or one lump sum.
Maryland's travel budget for the 2012-13 school year was reported to be around $3 million. That figure is estimated to double to nearly $6 million once the school joins the Big Ten in 2014-15.