Rutgers is officially set to enter the Big Ten on July 1, but it sure wasn’t cheap.
The school and the American Athletic Conference announced Wednesday that the two sides had agreed to a deal that ended litigation and will terminate the membership of the school on July 1, allowing the Scarlet Knights to become a member of the Big Ten on that same date. The settlement, according to reports, is an exit fee that will cost Rutgers $11.5 million. That $11.5 million is in addition to the $5 million Rutgers has already paid the AAC.
"It's been a privilege to be a member of the American Athletic Conference and to be associated with the great professionals at the league office that make The American a conference of tough competition, class and integrity,” Rutgers athletics director Julie Hermann said in a statement. “I deeply appreciate the leadership and insight commissioner (Mike) Aresco provided us as we worked together for an outcome that allowed Rutgers and the American Athletic Conference to enter this new era in their history effectively. The American has been a wonderful home for our student-athletes, and we wish them well in their future endeavors."
This isn’t new, not even for a team joining the Big Ten. In 2010, Nebraska paid more than $9 million to leave the Big 12.
Louisville, also departing the AAC after this season, agreed to pay the conference $11 million.