It’s official: Rutgers now part of Big Ten
BY HERB GOULD hgould@suntimes November 20, 2012 11:27PM
Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova (15) acknowledges the fans after Rutgers defeated Cincinnati 10-3 in an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)
Updated: December 22, 2012 6:32AM
The Big Ten formally introduced its 14th and final member — for the moment, at least — on Tuesday.
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights follow Maryland, which was introduced on Monday. And as with Maryland, Rutgers officials sounded like they had won the lottery. Considering their wobbly finances and the massive influx of revenue coming their way, they basically did.
‘‘For athletics, the Big Ten conference is the ultimate,” Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti said. ‘‘We are well-positioned for a long, long time. This secures our future as an athletic program and a university. This relationship is the perfect storm of relationships.’’
Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said the importance of expanding the league’s television exposure on the East Coast has been overplayed, and said expansion was a response to expansion by other college conferences.
‘‘What we saw happening around us was most of the major conferences moving out of their historic boundaries,’’ Delany said. ‘‘As we looked around our neighborhood and out of our neighborhood, we recognized that Rutgers was an institution we had a lot in common with.’’
While Maryland will join the Big Ten for 2014-15, Rutgers has yet to determine when it will leave the Big East.
A report that Illinois would move to the Legends Division so Maryland and Rutgers could join the Leaders Division was premature, Delany said, adding that divisional alignments won’t be made until next spring.