Tuesday, November 27, 2012
ACC sues Maryland over buyout
By Brian Bennett
You didn't think the ACC was going to let Maryland leave for the Big Ten without trying to get every last penny of its buyout, did you?
In a move that should surprise no one, the ACC is suing the Terrapins to try and make sure they pay the full $50 million. Maryland officials voted against the league's decision to raise the buyout from $20 million to $50 million earlier this fall, and president Wallace Loh has said he didn't think the buyout would hold up in court.
"We continue to extend our best wishes to the University of Maryland; however, there is the expectation that Maryland will fulfill its exit fee obligation," ACC commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. "On Friday, the ACC Council of Presidents made the unanimous decision to file legal action to ensure the enforcement of this obligation."
Maryland will no doubt fight this and hope for a negotiated settlement, while the ACC will try to stand firm. Either way, it won't change the fact Maryland is coming to the Big Ten in time for the 2014 season. Other schools who have changed leagues have negotiated buyout settlements. Paying the full $50 million will be tough for a Maryland athletic department that is struggling to make ends meet, but the school will eventually make up for any exit fee through the extra revenue it will make in the Big Ten.
Expect Rutgers to deal with the same types of wrangling as it attempts to navigate its way out of the Big East in time for 2014.