Big Ten gains big recruiting, TV markets with addition of Maryland, Rutgers -
Published Tuesday, November 20, 2012 at 1:00 am / Updated at 9:36 am
Big Ten gains big recruiting, TV markets with addition of Maryland, Rutgers

LINCOLN — The University of Maryland became the 13th member of the Big Ten Conference on Monday. Rutgers University is expected to claim a 14th slot today.

With Nebraska in only its second year of Big Ten competition and still adjusting to its new surroundings, the addition of two new schools in 2014 means there will be further adjustments in store.

»Division changes: Big Ten athletic directors will review divisions in the next three to five months, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said. Early reports indicate that Maryland and Rutgers would join the eastern-leaning Leaders Division. Illinois is expected to move from the Leaders to the western-tilted Legends, of which Nebraska and Iowa are members.

»The number of league football games: Schools currently play eight games per season. Nine is a strong possibility, Delany said, noting that “our fans want to see these games.''

»Added conference basketball games: Coaches want fewer than the current 18 games. Delany wants more, up to 22. “The compromise is somewhere in the middle,'' Delany said. “I hope we play more games.''

In this era of conference realignment — Nebraska took part in 2011 by moving from the Big 12 to the Big Ten — change has become radical and rapid. Could there be a No. 15 and a No. 16 on standby for membership, which would turn the Big Ten into the country's first superconference?

“I don't know,'' University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor Harvey Perlman said Monday afternoon. “It depends on the circumstances.

Harvey Perlman

“I think we're probably going to take a deep pause at this point. But things change.''

Delany declined to discuss further expansion, saying, “It's Maryland's day.''

Tom Osborne and Shawn Eichorst, Nebraska's current and future athletic directors, also preferred not to comment until Rutgers is on board.

Perlman said Nebraska has many reasons for liking the Big Ten's move to the Eastern Seaboard.

“We have lot of alumni in Washington, D.C., and along the East Coast,'' he said. “When we played at Virginia Tech and at Wake Forest, we had big crowds of people who said to me, 'I wish you guys would play on the East Coast more often.'

“So from Nebraska's selfish point of view, it opens up opportunities for us, including some fairly significant recruiting markets.''

Maryland President Wallace Loh, a former provost at Iowa, bluntly stated that money was the No. 1 driver for moving to the Big Ten.

Two years ago, when Loh and Athletic Director Kevin Anderson came to Maryland, the school had an athletic budget deficit. Eight sports were cut in response. Loh vowed that he never wanted Terrapin athletics to face that again.

If projections on increased TV money are accurate, the Big Ten's annual payout per school could rise from $24 million now to $30 million to $35 million in a few years. The ACC's current payout per school is $17 million.

Maryland will begin studies to reinstate as many sports as possible.

Nebraska didn't have financial troubles when it changed leagues but did have worries about Big 12 stability and revenue distribution.

“That's the great thing about the Big Ten — it's stable, even though we are now expanding again,'' Perlman said. “But the core is stable and the revenue is stable. That does give you comfort.''

Maryland and Rutgers are land-grant, research universities. Maryland has an enrollment of 37,000, and is located just outside Washington, D.C., in College Park, Md.

Rutgers is the State University of New Jersey with an enrollment of 58,000. The main campus is in Piscataway, N.J., on the south edge of the Newark/New York City metro area.

Lincoln is 1,205 miles from College Park and 1,285 miles from Piscataway.

Perlman said the geography isn't ideal for Husker travel, but he noted that conferences are moving outside their current geographic footprints to gain TV exposure and to take advantage of demographic shifts.

“It's actually easier to get access into Maryland and Rutgers than some places we go now,'' he said. “There will be some added costs, but the ease of travel won't be bad.''

Perlman said he has no second thoughts about Nebraska's having changed leagues, and doubts that Maryland and Rutgers will either.

“Everything is good about it,'' he said. “It's been very welcoming, and this is a very collaborative conference. I didn't feel like the newbie for more than a couple of weeks after we actually got membership.''


Location: College Park, Md.

Established: 1856

Enrollment: 37,000

Colors: Red, white, black and gold

Mascot: Terrapins

What's a terrapin? The Diamondback Terrapin, a giant turtle, is Maryland's state reptile. In 1962, football coach H.C. Byrd requested the mascot to be the terrapin. The team used to be called the “Old Liners.”)

Distance from Lincoln: 1,205 miles (20 hours, 24 minutes by car)

Academics: A member of the prestigious AAU, UM is ranked No. 19 among public universities by U.S. News & World Report. It has 30 academic programs in the U.S News Top 10. Maryland has produced four Nobel Prize winners since 1997.

Famous alumni: Jim Henson (Muppets creator), Boomer Esiason (NFL star), Carl Bernstein (Watergate reporter), Sergey Brin (Google co-founder), David Simon (TV writer/director), Connie Chung (TV news anchor), Larry David (Seinfeld creator).

Contact the writer: 402-444-1024,

Contact the writer: Lee Barfknecht    |   402-444-1024    |  

Lee Barfknecht has won nine national writing awards from four separate organizations, and is a 12-time winner of the Nebraska sportswriter of the year award. He covers Big Ten football and basketball, Nebraska basketball and other college financial issues for The World-Herald.

Explosive device blows hole in windshield, damages another car
Financial picture improving for city-owned Mid-America Center
19-year-old arrested in connection with March shooting
No injuries after fire at midtown's old Mercer Mansion
17 senators in Nebraska Legislature hit their (term) limits
Keystone XL pipeline backers blast 'political expediency' as foes hail ruling to delay decision
29-year-old Omahan arrested for 22nd time in Lincoln
Nebraska senators to study tax issues over break
Portion of Saddle Creek Road closed after water main break
Teenager arrested after woman's purse is snatched outside Omaha store
Police identify 21-year-old shot in ankle near 30th, W Streets
Cult murderer's death row appeal denied, but execution in limbo
Beau McCoy strikes Obama doll in TV ad; Democrats are not happy
Police: Slaying of woman in Ralston apartment likely over drugs
Interstate construction to cause lane shifts, closings in Omaha area
Kelly: A California university president returns to her Nebraska roots on Ivy Day
Omahan charged in fatal shooting in Benson neighborhood
Friday's attendance dips at Millard West after bathroom threat
High school slam poets don't just recite verses, 'they leave their hearts beating on the stage'
Crack ring's leaders join others in prison as a result of Operation Purple Haze
Haze in area comes from Kansas, Oklahoma
Man taken into custody in domestic dispute
Omaha judge reprimanded for intervening in peer attorney's DUI case
Intoxicated man with pellet gun climbs billboard's scaffold; is arrested
Police seek public's help in finding an armed man
< >
Kelly: A California university president returns to her Nebraska roots on Ivy Day
The main speaker at today's Ivy Day celebration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is a college president who grew up roping calves and earned her Ph.D. at the prestigious Oxford University in England.
Breaking Brad: Stuck in a claw machine? You get no Easter candy
I know of one kid in Lincoln who will be receiving a lump of coal from the Easter Bunny, just as soon as he's extricated from that bowling alley claw machine.
Breaking Brad: Mountain lion season's over, but the bunny's fair game!
Thursday was the last day of a Nebraska Legislature session. Before leaving town, legislators passed a bill to hold a lottery to hunt the Easter Bunny.
Breaking Brad: At least my kid never got stuck inside a claw machine
We need a new rule in Lincoln. If your kid is discovered inside the claw machine at a bowling alley, you are forever barred from being nominated for "Mother of the Year."
Breaking Brad: How many MECA board members can we put in a luxury suite?
As a stunt at the Blue Man Group show, MECA board members are going to see how many people they can stuff into one luxury suite.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
The Jaipur in Rockbrook Village
Half Off Fine Indian Cuisine & Drinks! $15 for Dinner, or $7 for Lunch
Buy Now
< >
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »