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Rutgers will pay $11.5 million exit fee to officially leave AAC

Sam Cooper
Dr. Saturday

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Rutgers will officially join the Big Ten on July 1 (USA Today Sports)

While Rutgers expects its revenue to increase with its move to the Big Ten, the move itself is going to cost the school a substantial fee.

The Scarlet Knights will pay the American Athletic Conference an $11.5 million exit fee in an agreement the school and the league announced Wednesday. According to ESPN, the AAC requested $15 million from Rutgers, but after a negotiation process, the two sides settled at $11.5 million.

“I am pleased to announce this agreement and I want to thank (Rutgers) Athletics Director Julie Hermann for her leadership and efforts in completing it,” AAC commissioner Mike Aresco said in a statement. “We wish Rutgers University well and appreciate the University has made to our conference over the years.”

The conference previously negotiated an $11 million exit fee (down from $15 million) with Louisville in November after the school announced that it would be joining the ACC. The successful negotiations between Louisville and the conference opened the door for Rutgers to do the same, ESPN reported.

Rutgers, who will officially join the Big Ten on July 1, submitted a notice of withdrawal on November 21, 2012, but did not provide 27 months notice required by league by-laws like Louisville did. The school then filed a lawsuit against the Big East that claimed it should not have to pay the full exit fee.

With the agreement reached Wednesday, Rutgers dropped the suit.

"It's been a privilege to be a member of the American Athletic Conference and to be associated with the great professionals at the league office that make The American a Conference of tough competition, class and integrity," Hermann said. "I deeply appreciate the leadership and insight Commissioner Aresco provided us as we worked together for an outcome that allowed Rutgers and the American Athletic Conference to enter this new era in their history effectively.”

Now that Rutgers and Louisville will be officially be out of the picture next season, the AAC will add East Carolina, Tulane and Tulsa on July 1. In 2015, Navy will also join the AAC as a football-only member.

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