PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers University put a bow on what will be considered the most significant week in the history of its athletics program by formally announcing its movement to the Big Ten Conference.
Rutgers and Maryland both reached agreements with the Big Ten yesterday with the summer of 2014 as the target date for membership. Rutgers will not release its target date publicly and will not be pressured to do so by the Big Ten.
Joined by university president Robert Barchi and Big Ten commissioner Joe Delaney, Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti made the formal announcement this afternoon from the football team meeting room within the Hale Center.
“It's a transformative event for the university,” Pernetti told ScarletReport.com “As it relates to athletics, this will give us the long-term stability and the financial resources to be able to compete on the highest level.”
Making $3.18 million as a part of last year’s Big East deal, Rutgers stands to make tremendous financial gains as a member of the Big Ten. Projections of the next TV deal for the conference range between $42 and $45 million annually per school by 2017.
"Welcome Rutgers," Delaney said. "We're excited as we can be. There's great enthusiasm by our presidents and athletic directors in a unanimous way to welcome Rutgers into the Big Ten Conference."
Rutgers is not expected to get a full share of Big Ten money immediately, neither did Nebraska when it joined last year. SI.com reported yesterday that Maryland will receive $32 million from the conference when it joins in 2014.
The Big East doubled its buyout from the conference to $10 million following departures by West Virginia, Syracuse and Pittsburgh to greener pastures.
All three programs negotiated earlier releases from the conference with WVU paying $20 million for immediate release and Syracuse and Pittsburgh both paying $7.5 million to cut a year off their respective memberships.
Once joining the Big Ten, Rutgers and Maryland are expected to compete in the same division, but nothing has been finalized. Delaney said current reports about divisions are inaccurate and nothing is set in stone yet.
"There is no foundation in fact [regarding] divisions," Delaney said. "... The reports yesterday just have no basis in fact."