The University of Maryland's expensive move to the Big Ten will be underway in a few months. However, before they go, the ACC is asking them to cut a $52 million check as part of its exit fee. It was a fee that was raised from $20 million to $52 million just before they announced they departed for the Big Ten. On Monday, the state of Maryland filed a counterclaim against the ACC alleging that the conference breached the ACC Constitution in its attempt to punish Maryland.
Maryland's countersuit alleges that a pair of ACC universities attempted to lure several schools from the Big Ten.
Via Washington Post:
According to Maryland’s countersuit, a representative from Wake Forest and a representative from Pittsburgh “each contacted a Big Ten university in an attempt by the ACC to recruit at least two Big Ten schools to leave the Big Ten and join the ACC.” Maryland alleges that “these actions by the ACC were designed by the ACC to enable the ACC (and member universities) to extract more lucrative terms from potential broadcast partners, including from ESPN,” which provided “counsel and direction.”
The specific Big Ten schools were not named in Maryland’s counterclaim, although it did say that “the ACC did not attempt to recruit for membership in the ACC any university west of the Mississippi,” which rules out Nebraska, Minnesota and Iowa. A spokesman for the Maryland Office of the Attorney General declined to provide the names of the targeted Big Ten schools when asked via e-mail, citing privacy reasons but implying they could eventually be revealed during the discovery or trial phase of the legal process.
Maryland was one of the founding fathers of the ACC, but it's been an All Carolina Conference for much of its existence. Maryland finally had enough, but the head honchos based in Greensboro, North Carolina tried to levy them with one final parting shot. Now Maryland's fighting back. It's pretty apparent now why they are leaving. The ACC is witholding revenue from Maryland already and still demanding $52 million . This was a petty move by the ACC. The Terps chose to exit for the Big Ten because they'll make $12 million more in conference payouts than the $20 million they receive annually from the ACC. By 2019, the Big Ten's Conference payouts are expected to receive $45 million.