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Rutgers follows Maryland, officially joins Big Ten

Nov 20, 2012, 2:04 PM EST

Rutgers

Rutgers will leave the Big East and follow Maryland to the Big Ten Conference in all sports, Rutgers president Robert Barchi officially announced at a press conference Tuesday.

“We’re really very excited and very proud at Rutgers. The Big Ten is really where Rutgers belongs,” Barchi said. “It’s not just a good fit for us athletically, it’s a good fit for us academically and as an institution.”

The Scarlet Knights become the conference’s 14th team, having cleared all procedural hurdles this morning, according to NJ.com.

Rutgers will reportedly seek entry into the league for the start of the 2014-15 season. If that date holds, the school would enter at the same time as Maryland.

As with the precedent set by schools like Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, and Syracuse who bolted for the ACC, Rutgers will owe the Big East a $10 million exit fee and will be subject to a 27-month waiting period before making the move.

Pittsburgh and Syracuse both negotiated agreements with the Big East that allow them to enter the ACC for the start of the 2013-14, and Notre Dame is reportedly in preliminary negotiations to do the same.

The news itself sets off a chain reaction that raises questions about the future of the Big East, with reports that the ACC may look to Louisville or Connecticut to fill the void left by Maryland.

Stay tuned to NBCSports.com for continuing coverage of realignment.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

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