The Big Ten officially announced today the addition of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights to the conference. Rutgers will join in all sports at a date to be determined.
“The Big Ten includes America’s most highly regarded academic institutions, known for both their athletic success and academic achievement,” said Rutgers President Robert Barchi. “This is exactly the right conference for Rutgers. Our university is one of the nation’s leading research universities and our student-athletes excel in the classroom and on the playing field.”
“This is a historic day for Rutgers University,” said Rutgers Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Tim Pernetti. “It is an honor to join such a prestigious conference and begin our partnership with the outstanding institutions in the Big Ten. There is no finer conference in the nation that combines top-notch academics and athletics.”
Ideally, the Big Ten would like Rutgers to join the conference in 2014 with Maryland. But that will require the Scarlet Knights to negotiate out of the 27-month waiting period that is stipulated by the Big East. That shouldn’t be a problem because Pittsburgh and Syracuse accomplished that earlier this year, as did West Virginia in 2011.
Rutgers leaves behind the Big East, a conference they have been a member of since 1991. The Scarlet Knights never won or shared a portion of the Big East title.
With the additions of Rutgers and Maryland now official, the Big Ten will have a 14-team conference, likely for the 2014 season. The revised divisions have not yet been announced, and it’s possible they could be shuffled some to become more geographically friendly.
“The Big Ten Conference is pleased to announce that Rutgers University will soon join the conference family,” said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany. “The additions of Rutgers and the University of Maryland further expand the Big Ten’s footprint while helping solidify our presence on the East Coast. Both institutions feature a combination of academic and athletic excellence and will prove a great fit for our future.”