Legendary Maryland Coach Lefty Driesell Opposes Move to Big Ten

By Daniel Stecker

Lefty Driesell is a prominent figure in the history of Maryland basketball. He is also one of the prominent opponents to Maryland’s most recent decision to leave the ACC for the Big Ten.

Driesell coached the Terps from 1969-1986, leading his team to eight NCAA tournament appearances, two ACC regular season championships, and one ACC Tournament championship.

While many traditional Maryland figures were against the move from the ACC to the Big 10, Driesell was one of the few who publicly voiced his displeasure.

Driesell said this to SiriusXM’s College Sports Nation channel:

”I think it’s a sad day.  You know, I played in the first ACC tournament when I was playing at Duke and I’ve always loved the ACC.  I coached in it for 17 years, did announcing in it for two years.  It’s a great league. … I think it’s a terrible decision [to move].  You tell me one thing that’s good about it.  Besides money, what’s one thing? … I’m an old timer.  I’m 80 years old.  College athletics used to be for the students, not for the business people.”

While Driesell clearly has many emotional ties to the ACC, the last line of the quote is the one the resonates the most with listeners.

Throughout the process, there were many students who were very against the move mostly due to the same reasons mentioned by Driesell. The tradition of the ACC is synonymous with Maryland hoops.

That being said, the ACC is no longer what it once was. Even Coach K understands that the conference is falling apart.

While this move may seem like it is more beneficial for the business people rather than the students, it is important to realize that the Maryland athletic department was holding on to dear life in terms of financial stability. Moving to the Big 10 will improve the overall state of Maryland sports and will therefor enhance the overall athletic program for students and fans alike.


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