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The Associated Press | July 6, 2014

Rutgers marks move to Big Ten with increased fundraising, improved facilities

Rutgers is looking for big things in the Big Ten. Rutgers is looking for big things in the Big Ten.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Rutgers marked its first day in the Big Ten with a party at its football stadium.

"I think [this] is going to be like an anniversary," Rutgers football coach Kyle Flood said. "Whether it's a wedding anniversary, something like a birthday, I think this will be a date throughout history that the Rutgers family is really going to remember."

Rutgers announced in November 2012 that it was leaving for the Big Ten. Now the move is official.

"[This] is a game-changer for our university," Rutgers athletic director Julie Hermann said. "Incredibly historic."

Hermann, who took over Rutgers' athletic department in May 2013, said she feels the football program is ready with the stadium expansion and Hale Center facilities. Hermann said there will be a 25 to 30 percent increase in fundraising from last year, but more work needs to be done.

"It's a privilege for me to be here and to lead the great group of coaches and staff into the Big Ten, which is going to be a challenge," Hermann said. "Got to rise and we're focused on that."

Hermann confirmed previous reports that there are plans to build an athletic village that will house most of the sports' training facilities. She also spoke about a makeover for the baseball and softball facilities that will cost nearly $3 million.

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany also said there probably will be a transition when it comes to the play on the field.

"I think the Big Ten conference is deep and has a lot of quality teams so game in and game out there will be great conference competition here," he said. "I think the opportunity to succeed is here.

"They are who they are. They have to learn the competition. Figure out the conference . Teams don't go from good to great overnight and teams don't go from going great to average overnight."

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