Why? No other schools have such a assurances when they move. Texas A&M was getting invited to the SEC but legally made moves to help the SEC. But they were getting an invitation, they wouldn't have left the Big 12 if they weren't assured that.
All that is to say that I believe any conversations about Big Ten membership between the conference and Rutgers will demand of Rutgers to fully commit to an action plan of withdrawing, applying, accepting, and entering within a fixed timeframe. The difference in the Big XII and Big East defections were that they were largely open-ended. They were joining the SEC, ACC, and Big XII; they just didn't say when. And they couldn't say when because they didn't formally make all of the necessary arrangements to make for a "smooth," clean transition.
The Big Ten is going to make Rutgers do that, as they made Penn State and Nebraska.
I think Rutgers would hope the Committee on Institutional Cooperation in the Big Ten would pacify the academics who hate the athletic culture. Not a guarantee to diffuse the situation but it is something that could be pointed to as what the academics get out of the deal.
The Rutgers 1000 were a nasty, irrational, and elitist bunch that thought even the original Big East it joined was not fit academically. Many of them are gone, and while I agree that the CIC will weigh on the minds of many there about its vast research benefits working in such a collective, the aforementioned price tag of what it will cost Rutgers in the short-term to get to that point could be easily criticized by many within the institution and government.
That big exit fee the ACC imposed could well have been aimed at discouraging the above scenario from happening. I don't think the new fee was just all about Notre Dame or keeping FSU from having wandering eyes.
You can read it all sorts of ways. FSU? Clemson? VT? Those are the most obvious after the last round of speculation. I honestly didn't expect UMD to vote against it, as I thought this new arrangement favored the Terps greatly. That they did...does it mean something?
The other schools that come to mind: BC and Pitt. I'm not saying Pitt's getting that Big Ten call finally, but were they...it's going to cost them. For BC, I think this amount could mean them having to swallow the big chill pill that is a future potential UConn membership.