November 30, 2012

In the Nov. 27 Sports article “Loh says Maryland move was not hasty,” regarding the University of Maryland’s decision to join the Big Ten (actually, Big Fourteen and counting), U-Md. President Wallace D. Loh was quoted as saying: “Your typical fan is looking at it only in terms of today and the game with Duke in January. It’s not their job to look at the broader picture of where the university is going over the next 10 to 20 years. That is my job.”

It seems to me that the reverse is true. The complaining fans, and I’m one of them, honor and respect the 60-year tradition of playing against schools such as North Carolina and Duke, a tradition that is apparently of little value to Mr. Loh.

Wayne McDaniel, Columbia

President Wallace D. Loh’s defense of the decision to move the University of Maryland to the Big Ten is far more transparent than the process by which he says that decision was reached. By noting his consultation with “school officials, politicians, prominent alumni and donors,” Mr. Loh suggested that he does not fully consider the views of faculty and students integral to his leading of the university.

 It is bad enough when university administrations and their governing boards assume absolute control over major academic decisions. But when those decisions are themselves dictated by forces such as big business (including athletic conferences) and ultimately the broadcast networks and their sponsors, all semblance of academic community disappears.

Perhaps Maryland doesn’t belong in the same conference with the University of Virginia. When a board made a major academic decision behind closed doors in Charlottesville this year, faculty and students challenged and helped to reverse that decision. Where is the outrage and appropriate response in College Park?

Neil D. Isaacs, Colesville

The writer is a professor emeritus at the University of Maryland, College Park.