- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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ROSEMONT, Ill. -- Arguably no major-conference school has generated more negative headlines in the past 14 months than Rutgers, leading to a common question among fans and media members: Does the Big Ten regret inviting the State University of New Jersey into the league?
Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany makes it clear he's firmly behind Rutgers.
"No buyer's remorse at all," Delany said Wednesday after the Big Ten administrators' meetings. "When I go to Jersey, I go to New York, I go to support, not to judge. Boards of trustees, they're fully capable of handling personnel matters. The Big Ten really does not get involved in personnel matters at the athletic director, coach, presidential level."
All three of those positions at Rutgers -- from new AD Julie Hermann to former basketball coach Mike Rice to president Robert Barchi -- have faced heavy criticism in the past year. Hermann declined several requests to speak with reporters this week.
Delany is spending much of his time on the East Coast promoting both Rutgers and Maryland before the two schools officially join the Big Ten on July 1. He mentions the Big Ten living in two regions at every media opportunity.
Athletic directors discussed the integration of both Rutgers and Maryland this week. Purdue's Morgan Burke, the Big Ten's longest-tenured AD, said the league has improved in assisting new programs with the transition since some missteps with Penn State in the early 1990s.
Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis hasn't heard much negative reaction from Spartans fans about Rutgers, but he has heard some questions.
"When the Big Ten Network was discussed, there were many more negative comments about the Big Ten Network than there were about expansion to the East," Hollis said. "There's a good understanding of why we're there. [Rutgers and Maryland] can prove themselves to be great members of this conference that will take us to a new frontier.
"I look forward to making them, like all of us, a stronger member of the conference."
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