Maryland President Wallace Loh to brief Board of Regents on Big Ten move

November 18, 2012

University of Maryland President Wallace Loh will brief the Board of Regents via telephone late Sunday afternoon about the school’s possible move to the Big Ten, two individuals with direct knowledge of the situation said Sunday morning.

The Board of Regents, which oversees the entire University of Maryland system, will vote on the proposal at a meeting on Monday, but only Chair James L. Shea and Vice Chair Barry P. Gossett have received any detail so far. Shea and Gossett have been involved in the discussions since they started, the sources said. The rest of the Board of Regents have been kept in the dark until this point. When reached by phone Gossett declined comment, citing the situation’s sensitivity. 

One individual anticipates that the Board of Regents will ask Loh if he has had any recent contact with the ACC, which Maryland would be leaving after 59 years should the move be approved. “Have we even talked with the ACC about this?” the individual asked. “Or are they reading it in the paper like everyone else?” 

The individual, who asked not to be named because of the situation’s sensitivity, said reaction from alumni has been swift.

“There are a lot of alumni upset about it,” the individual said. “People are e-mailing me and so forth. It seems to be a firestorm out there. I’m getting a lot of reaction from people.”

Another individual said the Board of Regents have only been able to pick up “bits and pieces” of information, based on newspaper reports and rumblings. Questions lingered for this individual as well. 

“Obviously there’s a financial incentive,” the individual said. “We need to know what else is involved. Is there any other reason besides money? What are the pros and cons? What does it mean to spread the size of your conference out? 

“Obviously there’s two strong sides. There’s the sentimental, historical side, then there’s the other side that says there appears to be a strong financial advantage. Have to balance those two.

“Money is not unimportant, but it shouldn’t be the only factor. We’ve been in the ACC for 59 years. Big Ten has a lot of prestige, more to it than simply athletics.”

Despite speaking to multiple members of the Board of Regents at Saturday’s football game, the individual was unsure how the vote would go at this point.

“I don’t know if anyone’s come down on one side or the other,” the individual said. 

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Alex Prewitt covers the Washington Capitals. Follow him on Twitter @alex_prewitt or email him at alex.prewitt@washpost.com.
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Alex Prewitt | November 18, 2012