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Maryland AG moves to dismiss ACC lawsuit

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Given the nature of realignment, this was bound to happen sooner or later.

Per a news release, Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler (pictured, third from left) has moved to dismiss the ACC’s lawsuit against Maryland that attempts to collect over $52 million in an exit fee to leave for the Big Ten.

“Our lawsuit calls the ACC’s ‘exit fee’ what it really is – an antitrust violation and an illegal penalty,” Gansler said. “Our motion in North Carolina will ensure that a Maryland court will rule on the case.”

The conference initially filed the suit in November in the North Carolina state court in Greensboro about a week after Maryland announced it would be moving to the Big Ten.

When reached by the Washington Post, Gansler said that the ACC has also been withholding shared revenue payments as collateral.

“They sent us a letter saying they are withholding royalties, the amount of money [the University of Maryland is] entitled to,” Gansler told the paper. “They’re doing this because the University of Maryland owes them $53 million, having that against them. Now they owe $48 million.

“When they sent us the letter, that triggered the ability for us to bring a lawsuit in court, saying you owe us this money. That’s what we filed. We filed it for the money and for the antitrust implications.”

These lawsuits and countersuits aren’t anything new and recent history has shown us that this will more than likely result in a settlement. How much and when? Those are details still to be determined.

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5 Responses to “Maryland AG moves to dismiss ACC lawsuit”
  1. deadeye says: Jan 18, 2013 8:30 PM

    Yes, this most likely will be settled. The problem for the ACC is that if the settlement does not approach 50 million (which it obviously won’t), the floodgates will be open.

    We are inching ever closer to a mass exodus from the ACC. Get your popcorn ready…

  2. ridingwithnohandlebars says: Jan 18, 2013 8:31 PM

    And the amount of the settlement could lead to more schools leaving the ACC when they find out how much they will actually have to pay.

  3. normtide says: Jan 18, 2013 9:36 PM

    I don’t get it. Why would you want to force a team to stay when they don’t want to be there? The smart move would be creating an situation where teams want to stay. The SEC had no exit fee, no waiting period to leave. Honestly, I would think the B1G was the same way, maybe the PAC too. Its funny that they are also the three most stable leagues. Its a mindset, we are the best and you could only do worse. Works in life, and in college football it seems.

  4. deadeye says: Jan 18, 2013 9:44 PM

    “I don’t get it. Why would you want to force a team to stay when they don’t want to be there?”

    ======================

    @normtide

    Great question! First off, the ACC is on the verge of seeing it’s top 8 programs leave the conference. That is their motive for the exit fee, to keep everyone trapped in the conference.

    You see, the $50 million exit fee was obviously intended from the get-go to PUNISH any school seeking to leave the conference. Thus, when FSU and Maryland voted against it they stated that in their opinion it was illegal. Punitive exit fees are in fact illegal, and when this gets resolved the next 8 will leave. Their deals are being worked out with the BIG10, SEC, and BIG12.

    Then Notre Dame will have a hard choice to make…

  5. thegamecocker says: Jan 18, 2013 10:42 PM

    You got it! The ACC wants to trap and punish these schools so that their basketball heritage could be preserved! They tried making football as popular and strong as basketball, their strength, but could not get that coveted National Championship that would give that perception. That plus ACC teams losing high profile opening, and bowl games made the conference appear weak in football. The new business model is established and they came up short. And that is why the conference is vulnerable for its schools to be raided.

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