Rutgers Joins Big Ten Conference

By Michael Hill

In the big leagues — that’s where the Scarlet Knights are and will go up against the likes of football powerhouses Ohio State and Michigan and others.

The economic benefit: priceless.

“There will be certainly the direct athletic revenue sharing from the major tv contract that it has. But the experience of Penn State shows that when they joined the Big Ten, their research funding increased substantially over the next seven or eight years,” said Dean Hughes

But already it seems — academically — Rutgers University ranks evenly or better than some of its Big Ten cousins.

“Well in fact there was recently a study released, ranking of the top 1,000 universities in the world. Done by an organization outside of the United States, it’s not a Rutgers study and we ranked 33rd in the world in that particular study. Yeah, we’re considered one of the elite universities,” said Executive Assistant for Academic Affairs Richard Edwards.

Dr. Edwards is Rutgers executive assistant for academic affairs. He says the other Big Ten schools will benefit from Rutgers’ proximity to New York for the arts and entertainment and New Jersey being on the Atlantic Ocean.

“For those of us who are interested in the academics, going into the Big Ten was much much more than the athletics. We’re really looking forward to the collaboration,” said Dr. Edwards.

On the main campus in New Brunswick, students and alumni see Rutgers joining the Big Ten as a big deal.

“With merchandising and all that’s involved, I’m sure in time it’s going to be very lucrative for the school,” said Rutgers Graduate Tom Kenny.

“I’m a bio major, so that really helped me out with more resources for everybody in the school,” said Rutgers Student Chica Okafor.

“Most of our friends are in the big schools, Ohio State, Michigan State, every one of them so it’s really cool,” said Wannurefiqah Wanroslan.

“We can have a thing in common,” said Priyanka Patel.

Rutgers knows just how much more prominent it can become and just how history and image can account for that. So the university has spent $120,000 to have an ad made to run during its Big Ten football games, debuting Thursday night in Seattle.

Rutgers University, now in one of the most prestigious and wealthy athletic conferences in America, with an academic pedigree that says the school belongs.