It’s done. I am reeling from the suddenness of Maryland’s move to the Big Ten. The short news cycle and lack of public deliberation about such a monumental decision is stunning and the crass way in which the news was delivered by University President Wallace D. Loh and Chancellor William E. “Brit” Kirwan makes me sick.
There are two things folks don’t like: being lied to and having their intelligence insulted. Loh and Kirwan managed to do both in their hastily assembled press conference. Trying to sell this as an academic move is pathetic and Loh’s comment about making these decisions deliberately out of the public eye and without the feedback of dissenting opinion reeks of elitism.
I get the fact that money is driving every decision at every college when conference realignment is considered. Traditional rivalries, travel schedules, and competitive integrity are all shown the door in favor of the financial considerations. What happened here doesn’t make sense and when something doesn’t appeal to your common sense it’s usually explained when you follow the money trail.
Ultimately, this may be the right decision for Maryland but it’s generally good form to prep folks in advance when unpopular news is coming and Maryland didn’t do that. No students, athletes, faculty, alumni, boosters, or supporters were publicly consulted. Maybe some dissenting opinion would have better informed and changed some minds among the regents who where rushed to vote in favor. We’ll never know and it smells rotten.