Johnny Holliday on Maryland’s Big Ten move: ‘It’s really a no brainer’

November 20, 2012

(Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

 

There are few people involved in Maryland’s conference history who have more knowledge of school tradition than Johnny Holliday. The longtime voice of the Terps chatted with the Junkies this morning about the school’s move to the Big Ten, and as expected, he offered a dose of optimism for those who have anxiety over breaking up with the ACC. 

On the negative reaction to the move:

“Well, I think as soon as the smoke clears and people sit back and take a look at the whole picture, and I know it’s a natural reaction to say, ‘Wait a minute. ACC, 59 years. We’re gonna go where? Why? Is it all driven by money?’ Well, it’s driven by the fact that the Big Ten, of course, trying to figure out why the Big Ten has twelve schools. But I’ll figure that out sooner or later. But as you mentioned, I don’t think in the long run you can’t lose in something like this. It’s really a no brainer. And I love Gary Williams’s comments a couple of days ago about the move. And yesterday, Mark Turgeon was there and his comments to us really make a lot of sense. You’re going from one great conference to another great conference.”

 On leaving traditions behind:

“I know a lot of people talk about traditions, they talk about, ‘What? No more Maryland-Duke? No more Maryland-North Carolina?’ Well, ever since a couple of years ago when they limited Maryland to playing both of those schools not twice but once, that took care of that. I really love it when you go to Duke and get knocked off and run out of the place and come back here and beat ‘em at Comcast Center. And Carolina the same way. But I’m looking forward to it. I think academically it’s good, athletically it’s terrific. The money, you certainly can’t turn your back and say, ‘No, we want to continue the way we’re going.’ And now it gives an opportunity for those sports that were cut, some of them, hopefully all of them, will be able to be brought back.”

 On the changing landscape of the ACC:

“Not that the getting out was good, but it was the perfect time because there’s rumors of others schools will follow suit, maybe as early as next year. There’s been talk about some other ACC teams gong elsewhere, like the Southeastern Conference, for example. It’s not the same as it was when the ACC was the dominant league, certainly in basketball. Now some other leagues have risen up and maybe will be overtaking the ACC, certainly in football. There’s a lot of work to be done, and Randy Edsall is doing the best he can to get it back to where it should be, and was at one time.”

 On more exciting opponents for Maryland:

“If you had a choice, at least from my perspective, of Ohio State coming to Byrd Stadium, of Indiana coming to Comcast Center, as a true sports fan, that’s a pretty inviting menu to take a look at. I would go for that any time. Not knocking some of the other teams that Maryland’s having to play, but it’s pretty inviting as you look at the future.”

 On more revenue for Maryland:

“It cost a lot of money for those sports that they had to cut, and they don’t have the money. When you look at the Big Ten, with the current deal that they have with the Big Ten Network. That in itself is a lot more productive and a lot more intriguing than what they have currently with the Atlantic Coast Conference. That in itself is going to make the cash register ring for Maryland.”

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Dan Steinberg | November 20, 2012