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Rutgers announces move to Big Ten

The SportsXchange

Rutgers University is joining the Big Ten, continuing the school's nearly decade-long ascent to respectability.

The Scarlet Knights leave behind the Big East. The University of Maryland announced their move to the Big Ten, beginning in 2014.

Rutgers held a news conference Tuesday that was attended by Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany, Rutgers President Robert Barchi and athletic director Tim Pernetti.

"It's a transformative event for Rutgers," Pernetti told reporters. "It is an honor to join such a prestigious conference and begin our partnership with the outstanding institutions in the Big Ten. There's no finer conference in the nation that combines top-notch academics and athletics."

Barchi added that the Big Ten "is where Rutgers belongs."

Rutgers has been a part of the Big East since 1991, but had been seeking to leave as conference realignment weakened the league, and Rutgers risked being on the outside looking in amid a flurry of conference expansion that created a divide between the haves and have-nots in college sport.

The Big Ten unanimously accepted Rutgers' application, according to Barchi.

The question remains as to when the Scarlet Knights will officially play in the Big Ten. The school has targeted 2014, which would match the Terrapins' plans. Maryland is leaving the ACC.

"The target date I think is going to be a little bit different than Maryland's," Delany told The Star-Ledger. "I think they've got to work through whatever they need to work through with the Big East, so we'll be flexible on that."

"I'm not going to put a target date on it because I think the amount of movement, the amount of change that has occurred in the Big East with Big East members, is between those members and the Big East and I shouldn't be putting restrictions on it one way or the other."

Rutgers reportedly will attempt to pay a $10 million to $20 million exit fee to the Big East.
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