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Maryland’s $157 million counterclaim: ACC recruited B1G schools

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It wouldn’t be a college football offseason without a some news related to conference realignment, would it?

On July 1, Maryland, along with Rutgers, is scheduled to officially join the Big Ten, the former moving on from the ACC and the latter from the AAC.  The Terps and the ACC, however, have yet to come to terms on an exit agreement (re: $), and the process that will end with Maryland in the Big Ten has suddenly gotten a whole lot murkier.  And messier.

Tuesday morning, Maryland announced that it has filed a $157 million counterclaim against the ACC in which it’s alleged the conference “is confiscating NCAA monies that belong to Maryland when it has no right to do so.”  Thus far, the ACC has withheld over $16 million in league revenue from Maryland because of the school’s intended move to a new conference.

The $157 million figure represents “three times the amount of compensatory damages for the ACC’s violation of Maryland antitrust laws.”  The ACC is attempting to assess Maryland a $52.3 million exit fee prior to its departure.

The counterclaim also alleges that the ACC in general and Wake Forest and new member Pittsburgh specifically recruited two unnamed Big Ten schools for membership in the conference.  It’s also alleged that the ACC received “counsel and direction… from ESPN” in its attempt to poach Big Ten schools, which remain anonymous for now but is suspected to include Penn State.

“The Big Ten schools involved must remain confidential until trial or discovery,” the Office of the Attorney General said in a statement to the Washington Post.

This counterclaim, which was filed in North Carolina, is part of Maryland’s response to the ACC’s $52 million lawsuit against the university.  The state of Maryland had previously filed a countersuit against the ACC.

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

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10 Responses to “Maryland’s $157 million counterclaim: ACC recruited B1G schools”
  1. ratsfoiledagain says: Jan 14, 2014 11:46 AM

    Realignment (actually, chasing the dollar) is killing college sports more than anything the NCAA is doing, or has done.

    Thanks ESPN. Your contract to the SEC started it all.

  2. rfmist8 says: Jan 14, 2014 12:04 PM

    I hope they all sue each other and go bankrupt with attorney fees. And we always hear the concerns about student-atheletes. Ridiculous.

  3. thefiesty1 says: Jan 14, 2014 12:27 PM

    Everyone is just trying to keep the attorneys rich. Frivolous lawsuits on both parts. Judge should throw both suits out and tell the school and league to take a flying leap.

  4. midtec2005 says: Jan 14, 2014 12:31 PM

    “counsel and direction… from ESPN”

    How am I not surprised? ESPN hates the Big 10.

  5. lbijake says: Jan 14, 2014 1:41 PM

    This could be an epic year for ACC basketball. The championship game between Syracuse and Pitt probably won’t even sell out.

  6. fatcamper says: Jan 14, 2014 3:40 PM

    Did I read this correctly: The ACC is trying to recruit members from the B1G? Makes sense. I’ve been sending love letters to Heidi Klum and haven’t received a response, but I expect her to accept my attention any day now.

  7. pricecube says: Jan 14, 2014 3:55 PM

    Did representatives from Maryland sign anything agreeing to the exit fee? I would guess they did. They will probably settle on a lesser fee.

  8. jagtiger says: Jan 14, 2014 9:03 PM

    Not only is the ACC a mediocre conference, they are totally disfunctional.

  9. dmcgrann says: Jan 14, 2014 10:41 PM

    Actually, Maryland did not vote regarding the upgraded exit fee, if I recall correctly, or perhaps voted against upping the ACC exit fee. In either event, they didn’t vote for it. They probably signed something to go along with the ACC majority, though.

  10. chinahand11 says: Jan 15, 2014 8:26 PM

    Why didn’t I become a blood-sucking attorney?

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