Big Ten expansion: Rutgers suing Big East over exit fees

Joe Robbins

The school wants withdrawal requirements and fees voided as it makes its way to the Big Ten.

Rutgers is suing the Big East Conference for millions for jacking up exit fees, according to Joe Harris of the Courthouse News Service. Rutgers announced on Nov. 20 it was leaving the conference and joining the Big Ten. The statement claims that no other schools that left the Big East "were held to the 27-month/$5 million fee standard."

The Big East's bylaws originally stated that any departing team has to give the conference 27 months notice and $5 million, the complaint states.

Rutgers claims the Big East upped the fee to $10 million at its Presidents' Meeting on Nov. 12-13 this year.

"Upon information and belief, the new withdrawal fee of $10 million arbitrarily applies to some, but not all, of the Big East football schools, and the effect is to penalize certain members if they seek to withdraw," the complaint states.

The statement also alleges the Big East "turned a blind eye" to the school's claims that it lost $1.3 million from losing a scheduled home game with TCU after it left the conference. Rutgers wants the withdrawal requirements and fees to be voided, according to the Courthouse News.

When news broke in November that Rutgers was leaving the Big East, Rutgers President Robert Brachi said, "The Big Ten is really where Rutgers belongs. This is not just a good fit for us athletically, it's a good fit for us academically and as an institution."

Rutgers has been in the Big East since 1991.

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