COLLEGE PARK, Md.-- The University of Maryland football crisis in the wake of the death of a player and the firing of coach D.J. Durkin has some critics laying blame on the school’s controversial jump from the ACC to the Big10 in 2014.
Washington Post Columnist Barry Svrluga writes this week: “This was a money grab, nothing short of it, a move that shoved to the side generations of tradition and history."
The Big10’s history includes the win-at-all-costs legacy of Woody Hayes punching a Clemson player and Bobby Knight throwing chairs.
Maryland’s tradition includes affable football coach Ralph Friedgen who started as a lowly water boy and kids rioting after beating Duke.
If the Big10 was a money grab, it has paid dividends.
- Total sports revenue skyrocketed 26 percent from $73,434,869 in 2013 to more than $92 million in the most recent report.
- The Big10 network has put Maryland on TV in 60 million households.
- Maryland is erasing a $35 million in debt for the 2006 renovation of its stadium.
- Maryland is spending nearly $200 million to rebuild Cole Field House.
- Maryland fields 20 men’s and women’s varsity teams and most are winners.
- Maryland teams have won won 17 Big10 championships since joining the conference in 2014.
- Previously overshadowed sports like men's soccer and women's field hockey now get national TV coverage they’d never seen before thanks to the Big10’s network
Undoubtedly, the family of Jordan McNair, who died of a heatstroke at a Maryland football practice, would give up all of that to have their son back.
They warn a winning-at-any-cost mentality can simply cost to much.