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Rutgers becomes 14th member of the Big Ten

Courtesy of MCT

The Big Ten Conference’s footprint now extends up and down the mid-Atlantic region.

One day after admitting the University of Maryland to the league, Big Ten Conference expansion continued Tuesday with the approval of Rutgers University’s application. Rutgers, nicknamed the Scarlet Knights, became the 14th team in the modern history of the Big Ten.

Rutgers president Robert L. Barchi announced Rutgers’ “unanimous” admittance to the conference along with athletic director Tim Pernetti and Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany during a Tuesday afternoon press conference on the Rutgers campus in Piscataway, N.J., about 37 miles outside of New York City.

When Rutgers will join as an official member, however, has yet to be determined as of Tuesday afternoon.

Barchi said the university’s move is to “exactly the right conference.”

“The Big Ten is really where Rutgers belongs,” Barchi said Tuesday.

Delany, who went to high school in Newark, N.J., welcomed Rutgers with open arms.

“It’s full circle for me to back here today,” Delany said.

“Today, I’m all Rutgers. Yesterday, I was all Maryland.”

As part of the move, Rutgers will depart the Big East Conference. The Scarlet Knights football program joined the Big East in 1991. In 1995, Rutgers began to compete in the Big East in all sports. Delany said Rutgers should work with the Big East to seal its entry date to the Big Ten.

The conference’s divisional alignments, Delany said, haven’t been set.

On Monday, Maryland became the 13th team in modern Big Ten history when its Board of Regents voted “overwhelmingly” to approve the university’s application to the Big Ten. Current Big Ten university presidents then assembled for a Monday teleconference to unanimously approve the school’s admittance. Maryland’s move to the Big Ten will take effect July 1, 2014.

Ohio State students, though, are divided on the conference’s recent expeditions in expansion.

“They’re more worried about the Rutgers and Maryland teams’ market than the actual quality,” said Brian Tebay, a third-year in sports industry.

Erik Smason, a third-year in business, said the addition of the two teams helps the conference.

“I think it’s good for the Big Ten,” he said. “I think it’s more competition although it does dilute the competition because the teams coming in aren’t as good as the core teams.”

Rutgers, which was founded in 1766, becomes the oldest university in the Big Ten.

Ohio State, which was established in 1870, is the conference’s youngest.

Megan Sharp contributed to this article. 

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