Why Rutgers Joining Big Ten Was School's Second Big Score

Why Rutgers Joining Big Ten Was School's Second Big Score
Rutgers has 2 reasons to cheer this week. (Photo: Saed Hindash/The Star-Ledger)

Rutgers accepting an invitation to join the Big Ten Conference was not the only big score associated with the birthplace of intercollegiate football.

Yesterday Rutgers University’s two governing boards approved the transfer of the majority of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey to the school.

Although the New Jersey Medical and Health Sciences Education Restructuring Act was signed into law by New Jersey Governor Chris Christ on August 22, the governing boards needed to approve the changes in the legislation.

The merger makes Rutgers a premier research institution and will allow the school to recruit a robust student population, faculty, and researchers as well as greatly increase financial support from public and private donors according to the university. The university already boasts two of the nation's top law schools on the school's Camden and Newark campuses respectively.

A second big score for the university, joining the Big Ten, adds the university to the oldest athletic conference full of schools with great academic reputations.

Rutgers must pay a $10 million exit free from the Big East and must wait 27 months for leaving. However, previous defectors from the Big East West Virginia, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse have managed to avoid the arduous waiting period. Rutgers will probably have to negotiate a higher exit fee to leave earlier than the Big East allows.

The exit fee is minimal in comparison to the potential financial benefits to the school.

The Big East does not have automatic entry into the bowls associated with NCAAs new 4 team playoff which begins following the 2014 season, whereas the Big Ten has a slice of the $500 million pie.

The share of money Rutgers currently receives in its current media rights deal with the Big East is $3.125 million, while a new TV deal for the Big East could be upwards of $43 million according to Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel.

Rutgers landed a big score in the class room and on the field. Dollars will follow and make the university a stronger, more competitive university and well worth the Big Ten’s investment in years to come.

Exavier B. Pope, Esq. is an entertainment and sports attorney, media personality, syndicated writer, Fortune 500 speaker and peak performance strategist, author, philanthropist, a sports business and law blogger for ChicagoNow and a 2005 graduate of Rutgers School of Law-Camden. All opinions expressed are those solely of Mr. Pope.

(c) 2012, Exavier Pope

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