Rutgers Costly Big Ten Move - My9 New Jersey

Rutgers Costly Big Ten Move

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New Brunswick, New Jersey (My9NJ) - Rutgers University is no stranger to being in the spotlight over the last few years; unfortunately it’s not always for the best reasons. Well, now the University is being scrutinized once more.

In 2012 Rutgers football announced that it was going to leave the Big East Conference to head over to the Big Ten which is much more lucrative and would be good for the school. However, when a school leaves a conference before the current contract expires, the University has to go through a waiting period, in this case 27 months, and the school is responsible for paying an exit fee which is estimated to be around $10 million.

Since Rutgers is a public state University, that means that taxpayers and students are responsible for paying the bill.

Rutgers officials have been keeping the details of the payout relatively secret which is making many New Jersey lawmakers upset.

Assemblyman Joseph Cryan chimed in to discuss the big move and the money behind it.

“I don’t know if it’s gonna be $10 million because frankly the numbers weren’t released and I think that’s the most frustrating part. I think the state University given its significant issues around this state in terms of transparency, in terms of opportunity, to actually show what it’s doing has been an incredibly frustrating process so far. I support the move to the Big Ten, what’s the problem on this tentative deal with releasing the number and telling folks how much you’re spending?” Cryan said.

Rutgers Professor Jason Belzer also jumped in to discuss the positive side of this move for the University.

“It is a public University so I think that number is eventually going to come out. Anybody can put in a Freedom of Information Act request and get that information. Rutgers publishes all of its financial data including the athletics department, so over the next couple years we’ll see on the line item what the payments were to the AAC. Right now, Rutgers needs to focus on doing their job and their job is running an athletics program,” Belzer explained.

Basically, the move to the Big Ten will help bring in revenue that can aid in additional legal fees Rutgers faces after the tough couple year’s their athletics department had in terms of bullying scandals.

“What’s really the big issue, you have essentially a positive situation with the University going into the Big Ten Conference where they’re essentially gonna make more than $200 million off of this transition,” Belzer said.

Assemblyman Cryan is still concerned about what exactly the University plans to do with the money.

“The issue is that when Rutgers spends taxpayer dollars the folks should know it,” he said.


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