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University of Maryland loses appeal in lawsuit over $52 million ACC exit fee

The Maryland Terrapins are 6-4 in their final season in the ACC. (G. Fiume/ Getty Images) The Maryland Terrapins are 6-4 in their final season in the ACC. (G. Fiume/ Getty Images)

A North Carolina appeals court unanimously rejected the University of Maryland's call to dismiss a lawsuit seeking the $52.3 million exit penalty levied against the school by the ACC, according to the Associated Press.

Maryland incurred the fine when the school said that it would be leaving the ACC for the Big Ten after the 2013-14 season. The ACC brought suit against Maryland shortly after the announcement and sought the largest exit fee in NCAA history.

The university had argued that it is an arm of the state and therefore should be protected against the lawsuit. The Terrapins may still appeal the ruling to a higher court.

The suit in North Carolina is one of two about the school's exit. The school sued the ACC in January and argued the fee is an illegal penalty. That suit, in Maryland, is on hold until the North Carolina case is resolved.

MANDEL: Bowl Projections: USC's upset of Stanford creates Pac-12 chain reaction

In an effort to discourage schools from leaving to chase larger TV contracts, the ACC tripled the penalty for leaving shortly before Maryland left the conference.

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