Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Maryland files $157M countersuit vs. ACC
By Heather Dinich
The University of Maryland has filed a $157 million countersuit against the ACC, raising a new allegation that the conference tried to recruit "at least" two unnamed Big Ten universities after learning of Maryland's intent to leave the ACC and join the Big Ten on July 1.
According to documents obtained Tuesday from the Maryland attorney general's office, athletic officials from Wake Forest and Pittsburgh tried to recruit "at least" two Big Ten schools to the ACC.
What's illegal about that, you ask?
Well, nothing, but the Maryland attorney general's office is using it to portray the ACC as hypocritical, saying the ACC has tried to impede Maryland from joining the Big Ten -- and yet it then turned around and tried to get members of the Big Ten to do the exact same thing and leave its conference.
In the documents, it's important to note that Maryland alleged "athletic officials" from both Wake Forest and Pitt reached out to Big Ten schools -- not the university presidents. The university presidents are the only ones who vote on membership, and therefore would have carried more weight. Also, don't forget that this past summer, a Maryland judge ruled that the ACC has NOT violated any antitrust laws by trying to enforce its exit fee, and a North Carolina judge has already ruled that this case will not be dismissed. Those are two important rulings that have already gone in the ACC's favor, and much of what is included in the countersuit has already been reported.
The big news today was the hefty sum of the countersuit (three times the exit fee), and the claim that the ACC went after unnamed Big Ten schools.
The bottom line is that both sides are still steadfast in their ways: The ACC plans on getting its money, and Maryland has no intent on paying it. Neither side has a timetable for the end result, so stay tuned.