Redskins

Maryland's nears decision on move to Big Ten

201211171433524262657-p2.jpeg

Maryland's nears decision on move to Big Ten

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) The University of Maryland's decision to stay in the Atlantic Coast Conference or join the Big Ten comes down to tradition versus money.

Given the plight of the school's struggling athletic program, the Terrapins' stature as a charter member of the ACC may not mean as much as the prospect of playing a home football game against, say, Ohio State, and being part of a league that generates more revenue.

The Board of Regents is scheduled to meet Monday to discuss the joining the Big Ten. If Maryland approves the move and applies for admission, Rutgers is expected to follow suit and leave the Big East. That would leave the Big Ten with 14 schools.

An announcement on Maryland's final decision is expected this week, maybe as soon as Monday.

The addition of Maryland and Rutgers, located in New Brunswick, N.J., about 40 miles south of New York city, would give the Big Ten an added presence in the East - along with Penn State - and add two huge television markets. Which explains in part why the Big Ten is courting Maryland and offering a fee to join, enough to at least partially offset the $50 million exit fee the ACC approved by vote in September after adding Notre Dame.

By leaving the ACC, Maryland would be breaking ties and rivalries with many schools it has competed against since 1953. There are few bigger college basketball games than Maryland vs. Duke, and Terrapins fans for decades have made up a decent portion of the crowd at the ACC basketball tournament.

Unfortunately, tradition doesn't fill the football stadium on Saturdays. Maryland can't sell out the luxury boxes at the newly renovated Tyser Tower inside Byrd Stadium, and only 35,244 fans showed up Saturday on senior day for a game against 10th-ranked Florida State.

Maryland lost to the Seminoles 41-14, its fifth straight defeat. The Terrapins (4-7) close out their second season under coach Randy Edsall at North Carolina next week, and he insisted Sunday that his attention was centered solely upon the present rather than the future of the program.

Asked his opinion of the potential move to the Big Ten, Edsall responded, ``My whole focus is trying to clear things up from Florida State and getting ready for North Carolina. ... I'm just concentrating on North Carolina.''

Rutgers coach Kyle Flood had a similar response when asked about the reports during a Sunday teleconference with reporters.

``''The best thing for me do to is not react to it,'' he said.

Maryland's six home games this season averaged 36,022 fans in a stadium that seats 54,000. Home matchups against Ohio State, Michigan and Nebraska would surely be sellouts. And, it is entirely possible that the school would consider expanding the on-campus stadium if it joins the Big Ten.

There's also the matter of the Big Ten television contract, which is far more lucrative than the one the ACC has currently in place. The Big Ten network has also become a cash cow for the league since it started in 2007. According to a May report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Big Ten schools receive about $24.6 million in revenue from the conference this year. With two more major television markets in the conference's footprint, that could go up.

Maryland this year cut seven sports programs because of budget concerns. Instead of merely surviving, the athletics department might even flourish if the Terrapins become part of the Big Ten.

But the prospective move would call for longer road trips. Instead of taking a bus trip to North Carolina for a basketball game against the Tar Heels, Maryland would be forced to fly to the Midwest, perhaps in a snowstorm. And while a visit from the Ohio State football team would be extremely interesting and unique, the curiosity factor would drop off considerably for a game against Minnesota or Iowa.

Those against the move cite tradition is the key factor. But university president Wallace D. Loh has no significant ties to the ACC. In fact, he came to Maryland in November 2010 after serving as the University of Iowa provost. Athletic director Kevin Anderson was hired in 2010 after a seven-year stint at Army.

Anderson did not respond to text messages from The Associated Press this weekend. It is likely, however, that the prospective move is being championed by Loh, who was slated to brief the Board of Regents on Sunday in advance of Monday's session.

The 17-member Board of Regents governs the University System of Maryland. Appointed by the governor, the regents oversee the system's academic, administrative and financial operations. It also formulates policy.

Quick Links

Jonathan Allen wants Jim Tomsula back - but he understands if he puts his family first

allen_tomsula_payne_usat.jpg
USA Today Sports

Jonathan Allen wants Jim Tomsula back - but he understands if he puts his family first

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the Redskins offseason thus far comes from the lack of change. Bruce Allen, Jay Gruden, Greg Manusky are all coming back. 

One name that is less certain, and is widely loved, is defensive line coach Jim Tomsula. 

For Tomsula, there is no pressure on him to perform better. His work in developing Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Matt Ioannidis and Tim Settle probably ranks as the most impressive on the team. 

"Jim [Tomsula] is definitely my favorite coach I've ever had," Redskins defensive tackle Jonathan Allen said this week. "I don’t really count [University of Alabama] Coach [Nick] Saban because he wasn’t my position coach, but as a position coach, love Jim Tom."

The Alabama product's comments came during a charity even at National Children's Hospital, and they came during an interesting time for the Redskins defense. The organization spoke with a number of highly sought after defensive coordinator candidates in the last few weeks, but stuck with Manusky at the position. The team claimed, through an unnamed source in a Washington Post article, that the meetings were just to gain different perspectives. Interesting. 

Now that Manuksy is back, however, the future for Tomsula becomes one of the biggest questions for the club. 

It sounds like Allen is prepared for any outcome. 

"I don’t know if he will be back. I would love to have him back but he has a family, definitely he’s a big family guy and his family is in Florida," Allen said. "I can completely understand his reasons for not coming back."

Any conversation with Tomsula always centers around family. He's one of the few coaches that remembers reporters' kids' ages and often asks about them. It's a genuine thing for Tomsula, and it's impressive. 

He is also close friends with Manuksy, and the coordinator's return could help in keeping the fiery D-line coach. If Tomsula does leave Ashburn, he's already made a significant impact for players like Allen.

"Regardless what happens I wish him nothing but the best and I’m just glad I got to spend two years with him."

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

Quick Links

Wizards owner Ted Leonsis vows his team 'will never, ever tank'

usatsi_10354881.jpg
USA TODAY SPORTS

Wizards owner Ted Leonsis vows his team 'will never, ever tank'

Wizards owner Ted Leonsis didn't mince his words in London Thursday.

“We will never, ever tank,” Leonsis told reporters prior to the start of Wizards-Knicks.

The comments come 44 games into the 2018-19 campaign which has seen John Wall exit with season-ending surgery and Dwight Howard only appear in nine games due to back surgery. The Wizards are currently in 11th place in the eastern conference at 18-26, three games back (in the loss column) of the Charlotte Hornets for the final playoff slot.

You can stream Wizards-Knicks beginning at 3 p.m. Thursday from London inside The O2 Arena.

MORE WIZARDS NEWS: