Maryland, ACC reach $31 million settlement in lawsuit
The University of Maryland and the Atlantic Coast Conference have reached an agreement to end all litigation over a long-running dispute related to the school's departure to the Big Ten, the school and conference announced in a joint press release Friday.
The conference had contended that Maryland owed the league a $52 million exit fee for its conference switch.
The sides agreed that the ACC will keep a $31,361,788 sum that it had been previously withholding from the school, and that Maryland does not need to make any more payments to the league.
The release says that other lawsuits filed in North Carolina and Maryland will be dismissed, including a $157 million counterclaim that the state of Maryland filed in January, alleging that the ACC's initial fee and decision to withhold league revenues ran afoul of league rules.
The counterclaim also alleged that the ACC, with "counsel and direction" from ESPN, tried to persuade at least two Big Ten schools to join the ACC "to extract more lucrative terms from potential broadcast partners."
From the release:
“I commend our Council of Presidents and specifically President Donna Shalala for steering us to this resolution,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “This agreement allows everyone to fully focus their energy and efforts on prioritizing the student-athletes, especially in this significant time of change within the NCAA restructuring. We wish the University of Maryland well and appreciate their past contributions as we collectively look toward the future.”
“The University of Maryland is proud of our long and storied 61-year association with the Atlantic Coast Conference,” said Wallace D. Loh, president of the University of Maryland. “Today’s agreement helps usher in exciting new eras for both the University and the ACC. We wish the conference and our ACC university colleagues well.”
Maryland and Rutgers, a former member of the American Athletic Conference, officially joined the Big Ten on July 1.
- Chris Johnson