ACC and Maryland Reach Agreement over Exit Fee Lawsuits (UPDATE)


The Atlantic Coast Conference and the University of Maryland have reached a settlement over the school's decision to join Big Ten, effective July 1, 2014.

The ACC originally demanded an exit fee of over $50 million. The conference sued Maryland for the money and the university succeeded with a counter suit. As a result of the settlement, both the lawsuits have been dismissed.

"This agreement allows everyone to fully focus their energy and efforts on prioritizing the student-athletes, especially in this significant time of change within the NCAA restructuring," ACC Commissioner John Swofford said. "We wish the University of Maryland well and appreciate their past contributions as we collectively look toward the future," Charlotte Observer reports.

Maryland declared its intent to join the Big Ten Conference in November 2012 - two months after Notre Dame decided to become a full-time member in all sports except football. With the inclusion of Notre Dame, the ACC increased its exit fee to $52.3 million - the figure that is three times the league's annual operating budget.

Maryland voted against raising the exit fee to that amount and claimed that the school was not obligated to pay it. The ACC then filed a lawsuit against Maryland and withheld the school's share of conference revenue. This action triggered a counter suit against the league by the lawsuit.

According to the agreement, the ACC would retain the withheld amount of $31,361,788 and Maryland will not have to make any other payments to the league.

"The University of Maryland is proud of our long and storied 61-year association with the Atlantic Coast Conference," Wallace D. Loh, the University of Maryland president, said in a statement. "Today's agreement helps usher in exciting new eras for both the University and the ACC. We wish the conference and our ACC university colleagues well."

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