Maryland Terps

Big 12 working on preferred bowl lineup, schedules

Big 12 working on preferred bowl lineup, schedules

IRVING, Texas (AP) Big 12 athletic directors worked Tuesday to determine the league's preferred bowl lineup with the anticipation that the Cotton Bowl will become part of college football's new playoff system.

The 2 1/2-hour discussion about bowl lineups took up a bulk of the agenda on the second day of the regular scheduled meeting. The ADs also discussed football scheduling with Commissioner Bob Bowlsby and other league officials.

Most of their first day was spent discussing the makeup of the 10-team league and ``what-if'' scenarios about staying at that number or eventually expanding.

``We feel very good about our current lot in life. We like our revenue distribution, we like our competition, we like our composition. We feel very good about where we are,'' Bowlsby said after the meetings wrapped up Tuesday. ``Beyond that, we'd be unwise to be oblivious to all that is going on around us. We need to be constantly vigilant. I think in coming out of these meetings we're prepared very well for that vigilance.''

According to Forbes, the Big 12 will generate about $26.2 million per team this school year through network television deals, bowl games and NCAA tournaments. That's the highest per-team average of any conference.

The Big 12 had nine of its 10 teams to bowl games this past season. No other league had ever sent 90 percent of its teams to a bowl in the same season.

Bowlsby said Tuesday started with a quick recap of what was discussed the first day to make sure there was nothing else the ADs wanted to talk about after thinking about it overnight. There was none.

``There was nothing more on conference composition today at all,'' Bowlsby said.

So they moved on to the primary agenda items of bowls and schedules.

While the first semifinal games in the new playoff system at the end of the 2014 season will be played in the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl, the site of the first championship game hasn't been selected. Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, where the Cotton Bowl is played, is seemingly a front-runner for that title game and then to be in the rotation for semifinal games after that.

When all that is finally settled in the next few months, the Big 12 will be ready to work on other bowls.

``Once we know the host bowls, we're going to be anxious after that to put some deals together and we've got to go to that bowl which we think we want to have first after the so-called system, and try and get a deal with them, and then go to the second one after the system,'' Bowlsby said. ``This was just a way to sort of identify our priorities.''

Under current arrangements through the 2013 season, the Cotton Bowl gets the top pick of Big 12 teams not in the BCS.

Bowlsby said it would be a ``fair projection'' that the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, which now has the next pick after the Cotton Bowl, or the Meineke Bowl in Houston could move up in the picking order if the Cotton Bowl is in the playoff rotation.

``They've both expressed a desire to move up and-or maintain a high level of association and Texas is always going to be our core,'' Bowlsby said. ``It meets the priorities from a destination and travel standpoint, so yeah, they're certainly in the mix to replace it.''

Another priority for the Big 12 is getting a tie-in with one of the Florida bowls. Bowlsby said the league has had conversations with Gator Bowl officials and two other bowls in Florida.

``California, Florida, and Texas comprise more recruits than the whole rest of the country combined,'' Bowlsby said. ``That's been a shortcoming of our bowl lineup in the past, and we need to fix it if we can.''

The Big 12 already has a bowl agreement with the Holiday Bowl in San Diego.

On scheduling of conference games, Bowlsby said the main topic there was putting together future schedules based around a set of principles, such as not having more than two road games in a row, instead of particular matchups.

The commissioner did say the Oklahoma-Texas game would be kept in the first three weeks of October during the State Fair of Texas.

``We've got this set of principles, we'll send you a schedule that meets the principles. And some years you're going to get a better schedule, and other years you're going to get a worse schedule,'' Bowlsby said. ``But it has to be acceptable if it meets the principles, so that's what we spent our time on.''

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Maryland reacts to latest FBI investigation reports

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USA Today Sports Images

Maryland reacts to latest FBI investigation reports

The world of college basketball has been on high alert since last fall when reports first surfaced of a long-term FBI investigation into the worst-kept secret in sports: college athletes being paid to play.

News surrounding the scandal died down after the inital wave of arrests, but Yahoo! Sports released a warning of sorts recently and followed it up on Friday by naming players (both past and present) for the first time. There were dozens of programs and players implicated, including Maryland's Diamond Stone.

Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon released the following statement Friday afternoon.

"Late last night we were alerted of a report associating one of our former student-athletes with an agent. We are extremely disappointed, and we will fully cooperate with any investigation. I do not have a relationship with Andy Miller or anyone from his agency, and at no time have I ever had a conversation with Andy Miller or his agency regarding any Maryland basketball player. We remain steadfast in upholding a program of integrity that reflects the values of our University community."

Stone played for the Terps during the 2015-16 season, after which he left for the NBA. That Terps team was highly-ranked entering the season but ended up losing in the Sweet 16 to top-seeded Kansas.

RELATED: DIAMOND STONE ADMITS TO 'MISTAKES' DURING FRESHMAN YEAR AT MARYLAND

Andy Miller is the agent whose financial records were used to implicate so many players in the Yahoo! Sports report. It's no surprise that Turgeon would deny having a relationship with Miller regarding any of his players, but the question remains: What does this mean for Maryland basketball?

You can be sure that Turgeon will be meeting with both past and current assistant coaches Friday to confirm they have not had any involvement with Andy Miller. He'll also certainly be meeting with higher-ups at Maryland, as they try to cover their bases. 

That said, it seems unlikely Maryland would take an action as drastic as firing Turgeon over these allegations. There has been no evidence released so far that implies Turgeon had any knowledge of Stone's actions. Barring further information coming to light, it seems as though this is a case of Stone developing a relationship with Miller's agency separately from Maryland.

Some of the more vocal members of Maryland's fan base would like to think Turgeon is on the hot seat. The truth is, given his long-term contract and the current state of Maryland's finances, it's not currently feasible to fire him and expect to afford a more accomplished coach. Though if further reports indicate Turgeon was complicit, then all bets are off.

It remains possible the NCAA will impose punishments on the schools involved with this scandal, in the form of reduced scholarships, postseason bans, or worse. But that's likely off the table until further evidence comes out regarding how much schools and coaches actually knew. It is a near-certainty that some schools were in cahoots with Miller and other agents; the problem is identifying which schools were intentionally breaking the rules, and which were simply unaware. Ultimately, however, some degree of responsibility falls on the head coach.

For now, the biggest worry on the minds of Maryland fans should be vacated wins. If Diamond Stone was ineligible, then it's possible the victories Maryland recorded during the 2015-16 season will be erased from the record books. Unfortunately, this could include their run to the Sweet 16, which was the program's first in more than a decade.

Given the expectations surrounding the team during Stone's year in College Park, his tenure could already be considered a disappointment. Losing those wins would further dampen the memories fans have from that season.

On the bright side, at least the Terps didn't have a Final Four run to lose.

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Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

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NBC Sports Washington

Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

Alan May knows a thing or two about the trade deadline.

Over the course of his NHL career, May was traded five total times, four at the trade deadline. He sits down with Rob Carlin on a special edition of the Capitals Extra Podcast to tell stories from his playing days about what it was like getting traded.

This one's a can't miss for hockey fans. You can listen to the episode here on the Capitals Extra page or with the player below.