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SBD/November 19, 2012/Colleges
Big Ten Moves Set Stage For Yet Another Spate Of Conference Realignment
Published November 19, 2012
KNIGHT'S DAY: In Newark, Tom Luicci writes the Big Ten views UM and Rutgers as a "package deal but wants Maryland, the more reluctant school because of its strong ties to the ACC and as much as a $50 million exit penalty, to be the first to join." One prominent college official yesterday said that it "appears as if Rutgers is on the way out of the Big East." Rutgers faces a $10M "exit penalty and 27-month waiting period for leaving the Big East," but the league has recently "negotiated early releases with West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 11/19). Also in Newark, Steve Politi wrote Rutgers has "been down this road before." Sources within the university community were "cautiously optimistic" late Saturday, but any potential move is "contingent on Maryland figuring out a way to pay (or avoid) a $50 million exit fee from the ACC to become the 13th member." For Rutgers, this move "not only makes sense on every level, it's a dream scenario for an athletic program that has feared, after dedicating so many resources to its resurgence, it would end up on the outside looking in as the college landscape continues to shift" (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 11/18). In New Jersey, Tara Sullivan writes, "The impact on Rutgers would be monumental, bringing monetary reward, academic prestige and instant athletic respect." If Rutgers AD Tim Pernetti "pulls this one off, he will maneuver the most important shift in the school's identity we have ever seen" (Bergen RECORD, 11/19).
THE NEXT DOMINO TO FALL? UConn has been mentioned as a possible replacement for UM in the ACC, and in Hartford, Jeff Jacobs writes UConn President Susan Herbst and AD Warde Manuel would be "run out of the state if they even thought about saying no" to moving to the conference. UConn "appears to be the obvious choice" should Maryland leave the conference. Yet how often has the obvious "been wrong in college athletics in recent years?" (HARTFORD COURANT, 11/19).