Rutgers Reaches Agreement with ACC to Join Big TenBy Staff Reporter, UniversityHerald Reporter
The Rutgers University and the former Big East reached a settlement in a lawsuit that accused the Conference for imposing a huge exit fee of $10 million for Scarlett Knights to join Big Ten. With the settlement of the lawsuit, Rutgers can officially join the Big Ten, effective July 1. Financial details of the settlement have not been disclosed.
On November 20, 2012, Rutgers announced its decision to leave Big East, now called American Athletic Conference, to join the Big Ten. Within minutes of signing the agreement, the university sued the Conference for commanding a huge exit fee to join Big Ten or wait for the completion of the required 27 months.
The lawyers representing Rutgers claimed that these rules were bypassed when other members decided to pull out from the conference. Certain member universities reported to have paid lesser fees or were offered reduced waiting periods to quit the Big East. In February 2012, West Virginia paid $20 million to depart the Big East for the Big 12 without requiring completing the waiting period.
The league's withdrawal fee "arbitrarily applies to some, but not all, of the Big East (American) football schools, and the effect is to penalize certain members if they seek to withdraw,'' Rutgers claimed in the lawsuit, My Central Jersey reports.
The Big Ten includes Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan and other schools with prestigious athletic programs. It will take a minimum of six years for Rutgers to become a permanent member of Big Ten and to seek a full share of the profits.
"... the move into the Big Ten is unequivocally positive for Rutgers - academically, financially and athletically," Greg Brown, Rutgers' board member, said November, New Jersey reports.