Moving to the Big Ten was mostly a good move for each of the Big Ten’s three newest members: Maryland, Rutgers and Nebraska. But it appears switching conferences was an even better move for the Terrapins.
Now, each team was paid pretty handsomely in 2015, according to the conference’s fiscal year tax statement. Rutgers made $10.449 million and Nebraska raked in $19.83 million, according to The Gazette’s Scott Dochterman. But those earnings pale in comparison to Maryland’s $24.125 million in Big Ten revenue, according to Dochterman. In other words, Maryland more than doubled Rutgers’ revenue in 2015.
The biggest reason for Maryland’s significantly higher earning was a deal it forged with the conference before leaving the ACC. According to Dochterman, the Big Ten agreed to match Maryland’s projected earnings in the ACC over a six-year period. Basically, the Big Ten is paying Maryland what it would have made if it stayed in the ACC.
Maryland also received a loan of more than $11 million from the Big Ten after reporting an operating loss of $3.5 million during the 2014 fiscal year after forfeiting more than $31 million to the ACC for leaving the conference. The loan is expected to be paid back incrementally between Maryland’s seventh and 12th year in the Big Ten.
The conference applied the same principle for Nebraska before it left the Big 12 and Rutgers before it ditched the Big East, according to Dochterman.
These revenue numbers are substantially less than what the full-time Big Ten programs made in 2015. The other 11 fully-integrated schools reaped in between $32.41 million and $32.54 million last year, Dochterman reports.
Nebraska is expected to become a full-time league member in July 2017, while Maryland and Rutgers won’t become fully integrated until 2020. The Big Ten’s wallet will also be a little thicker next season, which is when the conference’s massive media rights deal kicks in.