ACC sues Maryland in effort to force exit fee payment

by Nickalas Tabbert

The Atlantic Coast Conference filed a lawsuit Monday against the University of Maryland, saying the school is bound by conference laws to pay its nearly $53 million exit fee in order to join the Big Ten Conference.

The announcement comes a week after Maryland announced it would leave the ACC for the Big Ten in 2014.

According to the lawsuit, the ACC says Maryland must pay $52,266,342, three times the league’s annual operating budget for the 2012-13 season, the Associated Press reported.

“We continue to extend our best wishes to the University of Maryland; however, there is the expectation that Maryland will fulfill its exit fee obligation,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. “On Friday, the ACC Council of Presidents made the unanimous decision to file legal action to ensure the enforcement of this obligation.”

The lawsuit said Maryland President Wallace D. Loh has “refused to provide assurance” that the school will pay the exit fee and “has made it clear that defendant Maryland does not intend to pay the amount.”

The ACC presidents voted to raise the exit fee from $20 million to $50 million in September. Maryland was one of two schools that voted against the increased exit fee.