Friday, May 24, 2013
No ruling yet in Maryland vs. ACC
By Heather Dinich
There was no ruling on Thursday afternoon, when Maryland and the ACC both made their respective arguments before a judge regarding the location of a trial and the school's lawsuit against the conference, according to The Washington Post.
The Post reported that Judge John P. Davey declined to make a ruling, but said he will "issue a written opinion soon" on whether the trial should be held in Maryland or North Carolina.
Maryland assistant attorney general John Kuchno, a 1979 Maryland graduate and longtime Terrapin Club member, argued on behalf of Maryland.
Here's a head-scratching bit of info from the Post's story:
Kuchno alleged that the ACC has violated its own constitution by withholding revenue shares from Maryland because the university hasn’t yet formally informed the conference of its decision to leave for the Big Ten. Kuchno confirmed this to reporters outside the courthouse, saying that the school has until July 1, 2013 — exactly one year before it joins the Big Ten — to provide formal notice.
How on earth hasn't Maryland "formally informed the conference of its decision to leave?" After they all stood on stage so proudly with Big Ten commish Jim Delany and posed for photos as the university made national headlines? Also, consider the timeline in that argument (just playing devil's advocate here): Maryland was advised to cut eight of its sports in November 2011, and cut seven of them last July -- long before the ACC would have had any reason to withhold money, if that's what it is doing.
“While we are sitting here today, they have at least $3 million of our money,” Kuchno argued in court. “The athletics department cut seven sports, and that hurt Maryland. It tilts the playing field. Maryland has to deal with a self-sustaining budget, and [the ACC is] taking [money] out of our pockets.”
The ACC, meanwhile, alleges that Maryland President Wallace D. Loh was a leading proponent of an increased exit fee in September 2011, when the conference increased its fee to roughly $21 million. The ACC is also putting the burden on Maryland to prove that "competition has been damaged."
The attorney general's claim that the ACC has already begun withholding revenue is a key point, as is the ACC's argument that Maryland must prove the exit fees damaged competition. Both sides appear to be making strong arguments. Glad I'm not the judge. How would you rule?