He might not have been as quick to the draw as he would have liked, but Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany was excited to announce Rutgers as the 14th member of the Big Ten Conference on Tuesday.
The move comes a day after the conference added Maryland — a decision that unanimously was approved by the Maryland Board of Regents and accepted by conference presidents Monday afternoon.
As is the case with Maryland, Rutgers is slated to join the conference starting in the 2014 academic year.
“We’re slow to change, but hopefully pivot toward opportunities when they present themselves,” Delany said. “What we saw happening around us was most of the major conferences moving out of their historic boundaries. This was a conversation that has played out over three or four years.”
Delany said the university presidents authorized the initiative to use Penn State as a bridge to the East Coast, which only expands with the addition of Maryland and Rutgers.
According to a report by USA Today, it potentially will cost Rutgers up to $20 million to leave the Big East Conference before the 27-month notification deadline.
Rutgers athletics director Tim Pernetti added he already has been in discussion with the Big East about what would be the plan of action to leave the conference in the most appropriate way.
“We’ll work as productively as we can to resolve that matter and other matters as we plan to withdraw from the Big East and enter the Big Ten Conference,” Pernetti said. “Rutgers University won today; the (athletics) department did not win today.”
As for MSU, athletics director Mark Hollis said in a statement Tuesday he is excited for the opportunity to have a wider range of viewers through various avenues, including the Big Ten Network.
“As a response to the changing landscape in college athletics, we are excited to welcome Rutgers into the Big Ten Conference,” Hollis said. “Both Maryland and Rutgers provide an opportunity to expand the Big Ten brand into markets that are expansive and important to Big Ten institutions.”
MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon told the Big Ten Network that she is looking forward to the academic prowess Rutgers brings to the conference
“With a strong research profile, Rutgers is a welcome addition to the Big Ten Conference,” Simon said. “We look forward to competing and collaborating with them.”