PARK RIDGE, Ill., Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Rutgers made it official Tuesday and announced it was leaving the Big East Conference for the Big Ten.
The move was widely expected and comes in the wake of Monday's shift of Maryland from the Atlantic Coast Conference to the Big Ten. Rutgers said it looks to join its new conference in the 2014-15 academic year, which then would give the Big Ten 14 members.
"This is a historic day for Rutgers University," said Rutgers Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Tim Pernetti. "It is an honor to join such as prestigious conference and begin our partnership with the outstanding institutions in the Big Ten. There is no finer conference in the nation that combines top-notch academics and athletics."
Rutgers joined the Big East for football in 1991 and all sports in 1995 but the league has seen a series of defections. Boston College left in 2005 and West Virginia became a member of the Big 12 in 2012. Syracuse and Pittsburgh are to become part of the ACC next year. Notre Dame was a partial member but is going to the ACC. Texas Christian was to join the league but turned to the Big 12 even before making the move to the Big East.
The conference has signed up several schools -- Houston, Southern Methodist, Memphis, San Diego State, Boise State, Central Florida and Navy -- to try to keep its membership numbers up.