Yes, the Maryland and Big Ten Rumors are Still Strong, and Yes, Debbie Yow is Still Refuting Them

Not going away.

Y'know why this whole conference expansion mess has gotten so much publicity, here and elsewhere? Because in sports, especially college sport's, there's nothing else going on. All we need here is one quick commitment or assistant coach hire, and Maryland fans would forget about the Big Ten in a jif.

Unfortunately, that's not the case, and though that assistant coaching hire may seem imminent, it hasn't happened yet. So instead, we'll wait out The Dead Period with some more conference talk. The latest is from the Washington Examiner's Jim Williams, which claims that "two sources...and a number of media outlets", Maryland is being at least semi-seriously considered for a bid.

The Big Ten began discussions Monday about conference expansion, and somewhere in a pile of folders is a file on the University of Maryland. According to two sources -- both former Big Ten coaches -- and a number of media outlets, the Terps are being considered for an invitation.

Meanwhile, Matt Hinton at Dr. Saturday draws a connection between Jim Delaney's mention of the growth of the south and the latest conference expansion rumors. Basically, the mid-west is losing ground to the sun belt, and thus the Big Ten is losing their alumni base. So to keep that up, they want to move into quicker growing, more populous states. Even though Tennessee or Georgia might technically fit better, Maryland and DC aren't exactly dying areas.

But the guys at Terrapin Trail ruin it for us speculators. Debbie Yow still wants none of this expansion hullabaloo:

"The discussion is a waste of time," Yow said via e-mail today. "No communication has occurred."

Does that mean that the Terps would turn down the invite if it were to come?

"I never 'speculate' on possible scenarios," Yow said, "bad form to comment on things/situations that do not exist."

This is the second time Yow has kinda-sorta issued a denial, non-answer answer for this type of question. At the ACC Athletic Directors' meeting, when the TV deal was sorted out, she laughed out loud at a similar question and said that, again, there has been no communication. That's reminiscent of her answer about the similar Big East rumors: "silliness." 

Of course, the Big Ten having contact with Maryland has never been the rumor. The Big Ten hasn't even had (proven) formal communications with Missouri or Syracuse, supposedly expansion frontrunners. The rumor is that the Big Ten has interest, and that's a rumor that Debbie Yow can't refute. And she also failed to refute that Maryland wouldn't have interest, although she failed to say that would, either.

This is the safest, if least interesting, way to answer this question if you're in Yow's position. But I can't help but wonder if there really is a Big Ten fire behind the increasingly dense smoke.

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