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Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Rutgers to pay $11.5M fee to leave AAC

By Adam Rittenberg

While Maryland's departure from the ACC remains very messy, Rutgers today announced it has reached an agreement to leave the American Athletic Conference.

Rutgers will pay the American an $11.5 million exit fee. AAC members now will vote to terminate Rutgers' membership in the league, clearing the way for Rutgers to join the Big Ten on July 1, as planned all along.

The American had sought $15 million from Rutgers, which will leave before a 27-month notification period required by the league for exiting members. Rutgers had filed a lawsuit against the AAC contesting the full exit fee. The suit has been dropped with the negotiated fee. This is similar to what happened with Louisville, which is paying an $11 million exit fee to leave the AAC for the ACC next season.

The Star-Ledger reports that Rutgers already has paid $5 million of the fee and will spread the remaining payments out over four years.

So all in all, not a bad situation for Rutgers, which is set to cash in with its move to the Big Ten, especially when the Big Ten finalizes its new television contract.