Well, that happened about as I expected. Today, it was announced that the ACC has formally sued the University of Maryland in hopes of forcing the school to pay the full $50 million exit fee from the conference in advance of the Terrapins move to the Big 10 come 2014.
The Atlantic Coast Conference is seeking confirmation that the “withdrawl payment…is valid and enforceable.” As University of Maryland President Wallace Loh pointed out in the press conference announcing the transition from the ACC to the Big 10 the university is of the opinion that they do not necessarily have to pay the full exit fee. In total, the sum the ACC is trying to secure from the University of Maryland is $52,266,342. This number would cover court costs, lawyer fees and “further relief as the court may deem just and proper,”.
Alex Prewitt, University of Maryland beat writer for the Washington Post, spoke with Big 10 commissioner Jim Delany shortly after the news of the lawsuit broke this afternoon. While it had been suggested by some that the Big 10 would assist Maryland in paying whatever exit fee was necessary Delany shot down all hopes of that today. When pressed as to whether or not the Big 10 would help Maryland out when it came to the exit fee Delany’s response was short, sweet and directly to the point. “No,” Delany said. “That’s their deal.
Delany cited the ACC’s position of dealing between “member and conference” in situations such as this one and from his comments it gives off the impression that the Big 10 would like to stay out of this as much as possible. Clearly this is a story that has only begun to take shape as the impending lawsuit will be at the front of our minds now. Be sure to check back in to TerrapinStationMD for more updates on this as they become available.