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Thursday, November 29, 2012

ACC files lawsuit against Maryland

Last week Maryland was officially accepted as a future member of the Big Ten, with plans to join the conference in time for the 2014-15 school year. According to a state court clerk, the ACC has responded by filing a lawsuit against the school in North Carolina state court.

The suit, filed in Guilford County Superior Court, is seeking full repayment of the exit fee following Maryland's announced departure. In an official statement, commissioner John Swofford says the ACC's council of presidents unanimously decided "to file legal action to ensure enforcement of this obligation."

This kind of legal action has become par for the course in conference realignment. If you remember correctly, there was a time when West Virginia and the Big East had three lawsuits ongoing in three different counties.

The ACC's exit fee was raised to approximately $50 million in September when the conference added Notre Dame as a partial member. The vote was not unanimous, and Maryland -- along with Florida State -- opposed the hike in fees. Maryland president Wallace Loh later explained that he voted against the increase based on "legal and philosophical grounds," and many around the school believe that the fee will not hold up in court.

So here we are, back to the courts to settle a messy split between a school and its former conference. If things progress true to form, there will be a response from the school in the coming days/weeks.

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