Monday, January 28, 2013
Update on ACC vs. Maryland
By Heather Dinich
The ACC's lawsuit against Maryland is currently in limbo, as there will be a hearing in Greensboro, N.C., on Feb. 18 to determine where the trial will be held -- in Maryland or North Carolina.
Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler is arguing that a North Carolina court has no jurisdiction over Maryland and its public universities.
"Our motion in North Carolina will ensure that a Maryland court will rule on the case," Gansler said in a Jan. 18 statement.
Gansler has also filed a complaint on behalf of the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland and the University of Maryland. His side of the case is that the ACC violated antitrust laws with its $53 million exit fee.
According to a spokesman for the Maryland attorney general, the ACC has not yet been served with Maryland's counter lawsuit, but that it is only a matter of time.
Alex Prewitt of The Washington Post has an interesting article on how Maryland's case with the ACC compares (or doesn't) to West Virginia's messy divorce from the Big East. One of the key takeaways is that Maryland's case could set an important precedent because it is arguing whether these "exit fees" are legally valid.
“There’s just no existing legal authority on this issue, so if this ever got to court, a ruling on this issue could have significant repercussions for the entire landscape of college athletics. That being said, and because the stakes are indeed so high, I’d be shocked if it ever got that far,” a source told Prewitt.
This is a case for all of college football to be watching because of the potential implications it could have on conference realignment.