Maryland is in negotiations to join the Big Ten, and if it goes through the next piece of the puzzle has Rutgers joining the prestigious league as well.
ScarletReport.com reported the scenario Thursday, and ESPN.com is reporting Maryland is in “serious negotiations” to join the Big Ten. As ScarletReport.com wrote two days ago, Rutgers is expected to follow if Maryland jumps to the league.
Multiple media outlets are reporting an announcement could come in the next few days, and ScarletReport.com was told the preliminary plan is for announcements to be made in the next fe days.
Rutgers is not commenting on the report.
The Big Ten has 12 teams and is looking to expand its television and marketing footprint. Adding Maryland would allow the Big Ten into the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore markets, and Rutgers would give the Big Ten access to the New York City market.
A point that must be worked out is the $50 million buyout for cash-strapped Maryland’s athletic department to get out of the ACC and join the Big Ten, but a source told ScarletReport.com the long-term money to come from the new Big Ten television contract could allay those concerns.
In addition, sources said Maryland could attempt to negotiate the buyout down, and plans are in place to pay off the buyout.
Although sources said Maryland is ready to leave for the Big Ten, being a charter member of the ACC and severing those ties are concerns to several prominent alums.
Rutgers has a $10 million buyout to leave the Big East, but would have to wait 27 months before joining a new conference. If it wanted to leave sooner, Rutgers would have to pay as much as $20 million.
The timing for the move is the Big East's new television deal, which is being negotiated. When the deal is signed, it would be very hard for any team to move to another league.
Sources added Rutgers' move to the Big Ten is contingent on Maryland making the move.
Rutgers has long been a behind-the-scenes target of the Big Ten, but it was always thought the Scarlet Knights would need to pair with another school to make the move.