Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NCF Nation [Print without images]

Tuesday, February 19, 2013
ACC lawsuit against Maryland upheld

By Adam Rittenberg

If you're on Twitter like we are, you've probably noticed there's another wave of Big Ten expansion rumors. Once again, they're involving current ACC schools -- North Carolina and Virginia. None of this should surprise you.

There's nothing substantial yet, and we'll let you know if and when there is.

Any ACC school thinking about bolting for the Big Ten is undoubtedly monitoring the ACC's lawsuit against Maryland, which will join the Big Ten in 2014. The ACC suit calls for Maryland to pay a $52 million exit fee for leaving the league.

A North Carolina judge on Monday turned down Maryland's motion to dismiss the ACC's lawsuit. Maryland's attorney argued that because the university is state-funded, it has sovereign immunity that protects it from lawsuits like the ACC's. The ACC argues that sovereign immunity doesn't exist in contractual claims like the one Maryland made with the ACC, which is based in Greensboro, N.C. Superior Court Judge John O. Craig III agrees.

The Baltimore Sun reports that Maryland has 30 days to appeal Monday's ruling.

Maryland is coming to the Big Ten whether or not it has to pay the exit fee. The increased revenue the school will earn as a Big Ten member will eventually make up for the short-term loss.

But the outcome of the case could influence whether others make the jump or stay put.