SBD/February 5, 2014/Colleges

Rutgers Reaches Tentative Deal On AAC Exit, Planning To Join Big Ten On July 1

Rutgers claims it should not be obligated to pay the $10M AAC exit fee
Rutgers has "reached a tentative agreement to exit the American Athletic Conference, a deal that will cease the litigation with the league formerly known as the Big East and officially allow the Scarlet Knights to enter the Big Ten on July 1," according to Keith Sargeant of the ASBURY PARK PRESS. Financial details of the agreement are not known. Rutgers in a lawsuit has claimed that it "should not be obligated" to pay a $10M exit fee "since other schools agreed to lesser amounts in escaping the league in recent years." Not at issue is "whether Rutgers will have to remain" in the AAC next season. Rutgers already is "on the Big Ten’s schedule for next year, and the AAC has appeared willing to forgive the required 27-month exit clause after regrouping with the addition of other schools" (ASBURY PARK PRESS, 2/5). Rutgers BOG member Greg Brown said that he and other members yesterday in Newark were "given a briefing behind closed doors" on the agreement by school CFO/Intercollegiate Athletics Janine Purcaro (Newark STAR-LEDGER, 2/5). In Newark, Kelly Heyboer reported Rutgers yesterday also unveiled an "ambitious new long-term plan" for the university. The document calls for Rutgers' athletic department to "move toward financial independence." Rutgers currently "gives its money-losing sports teams one of the largest subsidies in higher education." School President Robert Barchi said that he "expects the athletics department to improve its financial situation within six years, when the university starts to cash in on the full financial benefits associated with moving into" the Big Ten. Heyboer notes Rutgers paid the Boston Consulting Group $3.4M "to help campus officials craft the new strategic plan" (NJ.com, 2/4).
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