Maryland to Join Big Ten Conference

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Park Ridge, Ill.— The Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors (COP/C) announced unanimous approval today for the University of Maryland to join the Big Ten Conference effective July 1, 2014, with competition to begin in all sports for the 2014-15 academic year. The University of Maryland also looks forward to joining the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), a consortium of world-class research institutions dedicated to advancing their academic missions.

“Today is a watershed moment for the University of Maryland,” said university president Dr. Wallace D. Loh. “Membership in the Big Ten Conference is in the strategic interest of the University of Maryland. It will not only ensure the financial vitality of Maryland Athletics for decades to come, but the extensive opportunities in the CIC for collaborations with our peer AAU and flagship universities in education, research, and innovation will boost the University of Maryland’s ascendancy in academic excellence.”

“The Big Ten Presidents and Chancellors are pleased to welcome the University of Maryland to the Big Ten Conference,” said COP/C Chair and University of Iowa President Sally Mason. “The University of Maryland is one of the premier public research universities in the country and represents a natural alignment with our other member institutions. Their top-ranked academic and athletic programs will be a tremendous addition to our conference.”

“Today is a historic day for both the University of Maryland and for Maryland Athletics,” said director of athletics Kevin Anderson. “The Big Ten is an outstanding conference comprised of flagship research universities. Our new peers share our pursuit of both athletic and academic excellence. We are thrilled to join the Big Ten and look forward to beginning this next chapter in Maryland Athletics starting in 2014.”

In order for an institution to be admitted to the Big Ten Conference, it must submit a written application, which must then be approved by at least 70 percent of the Big Ten COP/C. The University of Maryland formally submitted an application to join the Big Ten Conference Monday morning. The Big Ten COP/C then met via conference call and unanimously approved UMD’s application.

“The Big Ten Conference is excited to welcome the University of Maryland beginning with the 2014-15 academic year,” said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany. “Maryland is a tradition-rich institution with a history of academic and athletic excellence. They’re a great fit and we look forward to a great future.”

About the University of Maryland: The University of Maryland is the state’s flagship university and one of the nation’s preeminent public research universities. Ranked No. 19 among public universities by U.S. News & World Report, it has 30 academic programs in the U.S News Top 10. UMD is one of only six universities in the world with top 25 programs in Computer Science, Engineering, Economics and Business, Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Physics and Social Sciences, according to the Academic Ranking of Worldwide Universities.

About the Big Ten Conference: The Big Ten Conference is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in student-athletes’ lives and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. The broad-based athletic programs of the 12 Big Ten institutions sponsor 298 teams competing for championships in 25 official conference sports, 12 for men and 13 for women. Big Ten universities provide in excess of $136 million in athletic scholarship aid to nearly 10,000 men and women student-athletes, the most of any conference. For more information, visit http://www.bigten.org.

Courtesy of Media Communications | Big Ten Conference

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Big Ten Conference Announce Players to Watch List

Park Ridge, Ill. –  While we all wait for the BadgerSportsBeat.com Lee Evans Award watch list to be announced later today, the Big Ten Conference announced today its inaugural football Players to Watch list, with 12 players earning preseason recognition. Big Ten coaches voted to institute a preseason Players to Watch list beginning this season, honoring five student-athletes each from the Legends Division and Leaders Division. The 2011 list was selected by a media panel and features additional honorees due to a tie.

 Representing the Legends Division are Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson, Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins, Nebraska defensive tackle Jared Crick and linebacker Lavonte David and Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa.

The Leaders Division honorees are Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase, Indiana wide receiver Damarlo Belcher, Ohio State center Mike Brewsterand defensive tackle John Simon, Penn State linebacker Michael Mauti and Wisconsin running backs Montee Ball and James White.

All five Legends Division players received postseason recognition in 2010, with Robinson, Crick and David earning All-America honors and first-team All-Conference accolades. Robinson was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year while David was tabbed the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year. Persa was also named first-team All-Big Ten while Cousins was an honorable mention All-Conference choice.

The group of Leaders Division standouts includes five All-Conference selections from 2010. Brewster earned All-America accolades and first-team All-Big Ten honors. White was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and a second-team All-Conference selection. Belcher, Simon and Ball were each All-Big Ten honorable mention selections.

The complete list of Big Ten football preseason Players to Watch appears below:

LEGENDS DIVISION

Denard Robinson, QB, Michigan

Kirk Cousins, QB, Michigan State

Jared Crick, DT, Nebraska

Lavonte David, LB, Nebraska

Dan Persa, QB, Northwestern

LEADERS DIVISION*

Nathan Scheelhaase, QB, Illinois

Damarlo Belcher, WR, Indiana

Mike Brewster, C, Ohio State

John Simon, DT, Ohio State

Michael Mauti, LB, Penn State

Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin

James White, RB, Wisconsin

(Additional honorees due to tie)

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