My once beloved Maryland Terps will take on the once hated Duke Blue Devils in classic ACC tournament fashion tonight. This will be the last time Maryland plays Duke in what is arguably the most history rich basketball conference in the nation. This is not new news but it is none the less heart wrenching to know this is the last meeting of these two fierce rivals. And what a shame it is. Maryland, under the previous pitiful athletic director administration of “chairman” Debbie Yow, saw its varsity sports programs go to hell. Yes, she is highly responsible. Her biggest folly, and perhaps the death of all sports at Maryland, was when for some unknown reason, Maryland all of a sudden thought they were a football school and added all those multimillion dollar skyboxes on the football stadium. News flash folks. Maryland hasn’t had a quality football program since the days Bobby Ross paraded around College Park and its safe to say that ain’t happening again soon.
Enter Kevin Anderson from Army. A likable guy for a purposes but an obvious poor choice for AD at Maryland. You see folks, this guy has zero experience raising funds for a school’s athletic programs. He was at Army for God’s sake. The government gives them the funds for their varsity sports programs. Did anyone think that one through before they hired a guy with no experience in the most important part of an AD’s job? Result? Maryland jumps at the first sniff of money from the Big Ten and leaves the ACC.
Now I could be wrong, I was once, but here is how I see this whole thing hashing out. Maryland basketball will have absolutely no rivalries in the Big Ten and no reason to rush the floor beating Rutgers. Add to that the fact that outside of Penn State and Rutgers, Maryland teams will have to book a long flight to every other conference game they play. Just guessing that might eat a sizable portion of those Big Ten funds every year. And the football program you ask? They may have won their last football game ever. Sure, fans will come the first year to see the likes of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Nebraska whip the Terps like red-headed step children, but I am betting that those 60 to 0 thrashings that will be common place will soon leave all those precious skyboxes empty. I mentioned before the dough it will take to fly the basketball program all over the nation. Now, just think about all that football equipment. I can just hear that big sucking sound as those airlines vacuum up all that Big Ten payment.
Finally, and perhaps fittingly, the ACC has a $50 Million dollar exit fee that Maryland will be on the hook for. How long is it gonna take to break even on that little chunk of change? Man, I knew I shouldn’t have written this piece. Now I am really depressed.