Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

November 19, 2012

It may make you sick, but it’s likely the thing to do

Sixty years from now this will be forgotten just the way Maryland, Clemson, Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State, South Carolina and Wake Forest leaving the Southern Conference to start the Atlantic Coast Conference in 1953 is forgotten today.

But this business of the University of Maryland leaving the ACC for the money-green pastures of the Big Ten? Unless your job is to balance the budget of the Maryland athletic department that Chairman Yow blew to hell in a handcart, it makes you sick to your stomach. On a number of counts.

It makes you sick because the mere notion of Maryland’s leaving the ACC was necessitated by the manner in which Maryland’s athletic department hemorrhages money.

It makes you sick because after 60 years of being treated like a red-headed stepchild by the very conference it helped create, Maryland just kissed off 60 years of the tradition it likes to brag about having. It makes you sick because after 60 years of catering to North Carolina and Duke, and now Notre Dame, the ACC just kissed off a seven-million person market. And while UConn may be on the way, Clemson, Florida State and N.C. State may be on the way out.

And don’t think for a moment North Carolina isn’t in the Big Ten’s sights as well. How funny would that be, Swofford? You’d be a commissioner without a school, provided, of course, you are able to remain commissioner. And since your allowing ESPN to sell the ACC magic beans on the new TV contract got this ball rolling, your head may be rolling next. Oh, and Notre Dame? They, too, will eventually be in the Big Ten. Please don’t believe otherwise.

It makes you sick because 60 years from now Maryland Terrapins could be as extinct as Minnesota Golden Gophers. No offense, only honest perception, intended.

This is going to upgrade Maryland’s football program? Maryland football will now become a national player? Really? Repeat after me: Jim Tatum is dead. It ain’t ever happening on that level again. Maryland football is insignificant, and no matter how much money this deal nets the university, Maryland football will remain insignificant until the end of time — which might not be too terribly painful for delusional Maryland-Is-A-Football-School types if the Mayan calendar is accurate.

And, oh yes, the football rivalry with Penn State can now resume. Rivalry? You call 1-35-1 a rivalry? Penn State never thought of Maryland as a rival. Penn State, who can stand to receive some good news more than anybody else these days, thought of the Terps as welcomed house guests and, no doubt, will be delighted to welcome them back.

Maryland has never really had a rival, despite what they call Virginia, and despite the glory days of Gary Williams with Duke and North Carolina. So in this regard, there is really nothing lost here in going to the Big Ten. No rivals await; no real rivals left behind.

Mark Turgeon and his players, however, did not come to Maryland to coach and play in the Big Ten. Thus, Maryland runs the risk of doing to its men’s basketball program what the ACC did to its men’s basketball tradition by selling its soul to second-rate football. There is so much wrong with the ACC that was self-inflicted, Maryland could be getting out while the going is good. Certainly the money will be good.

“Today is a watershed moment for the University of Maryland,” said university president Wallace D. Loh. “Membership 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.”

President Loh had better hope all of those AAU kids he covets to put into Under Armour gear believe that as well.

Mike Burke is sports editor of the Cumberland Times-News. Write to him at mburke@times-news.com

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • It’s a secret It’s a secret

    Could someone enlighten us about why not even the names of the two entities bidding on development of the Footer Dye Works building can be divulged?
    A Times-News article about the bids included an explanation from a lawyer for the attorney general’s office about the need to keep the names and other information secret at this time. Despite that, the logic of not divulging at least a little more information escapes us.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • What do we do about those who weren’t criminals after all?

    Now that Maryland has become the 17th state to (finally) decriminalize possession of marijuana, one could say that the legislature and governor should be patted on the back for doing the right thing.

    April 17, 2014

  • The first step The first step

    If all goes as planned, Frostburg State University will one day offer a doctorate in nursing, a physician’s assistant program and a new health sciences building on campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Translations differ, but the message is eternal

    This letter is in response to a recent letter titled “One cannot compromise on God’s word” (April 13 Times-News). I had previously written a letter titled “Why are compromises so difficult to achieve” (April 7).

    April 15, 2014

  • Closing the loopholes will help clear the regulatory waters

    After a decade of uncertainty over Clean Water Act jurisdiction following Supreme Court challenges in 2001 and 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers announced a forthcoming administrative rule to close enforcement loopholes, restoring protections to 20 million acres of wetlands, more than half the nation’s streams, and drinking water for 117 million Americans.

    April 15, 2014

  • The first step Remember where your freedom comes from before criticizing

    The deal at Fort Hood could have been avoided if it was caught in time.
    When you think a GI is not acting right, have him or her checked out before you put them back on duty and give them a weapon. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious and dangerous problem if it is not taken care of right away.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where to look Where to look

    Drive anywhere in Maryland and it seems there is one highway construction project after another. While it is good to see our roads and bridges being upgraded, it can be nerve-wracking for anyone traveling a long distance.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Midterm elections give chance to return to American values

    A movement has been started by veterans of our armed forces to get out the vote in 2014. That includes Coast Guard and Merchant Marine personnel for those not familiar with the history of both and their sacrifice. This is no small special interest  group, but many millions of Americans who can have an enormous impact on the  outcome of the November election if they all respond.

    April 14, 2014

  • Speed cameras Speed cameras

    We’ve never been big fans of speed cameras, primarily for two reasons. First, because the cameras are not always accurate, and secondly because many jurisdictions seem to create revenue by installing cameras and issuing high numbers of speeding tickets.

    April 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Group wants status quo on Sunday hunting

    Many Maryland residents have grown very concerned about two legislative bills that are arriving on the desk of Gov. Martin O’Malley after being approved by both the Senate and House chambers this session. With the governor’s possible signature of these bills into law, hunting would be allowed on certain state lands on Sundays — a day in the past reserved for rest and non-hunters to enjoy public lands.

    April 10, 2014