Bonnie Bernstein tweeted the other day that, even though she was upset about Maryland leaving the ACC, she understood that it was difficult to turn down, largely due to a "redonkulous" financial package.
Redonkulous indeed (emphasis mine):
The University of Maryland stands to make nearly $100 million more in conference revenue by 2020 with its switch from the ACC to the Big Ten, according to projected revenue information presented to the school by Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany. SI.com obtained the information from a Maryland official on the condition of anonymity.
When Maryland joins the Big Ten in 2014, it projects to make more than $12 million more than it would have in the ACC. That projected difference jumps to $19 million annually in 2017 after the Big Ten renegotiates its television contract. According to the official, Maryland projects to make $32 million when it joins the league for the 2014-15 season, well beyond the ACC's projected payout of $20 million.
The real jump in projected revenue comes in 2017, after the Big Ten negotiates its new television contract. The Big Ten payout that year projects to $43 million, dwarfing the $24 million the ACC projects to pay out that year.
The big word here: "projected." It's coming from Delany and the Big Ten, so there's probably some inflation going on in here. That's important to note.
But even with it, that's some serious dough. Maybe it ends up being, say, $80mil, a rather pessimistic figure - that's still enough to solve many of Maryland's desperate financial problems. It should drastically accelerate their timeline for paying off their debt, and grant them flexibility in other sports while they're doing so.
Maryland will get this sort of payout immediately due to essentially what is a loan from the Big Ten. Usually, a new member isn't granted full revenue-sharing rights immediately, and technically Maryland isn't either. But the Big Ten is more or less "loaning" the money to Maryland interest-free, and will allow the Terps to pay it back once they pay off their debt and begin running a surplus. Basically, they're giving Maryland a quick way out of their troubles now, letting them make the department sustainable and viable without major shackles, and then they'll collect when the capability to pay has returned.
It's a pretty sweet deal if you're Wallace Loh, Brit Kirwan, and Kevin Anderson. And it's another reason why turning the Big Ten down would've been a very big ask.