Back in September, the University of Maryland voted against the Atlantic Coast Conference’s plan to raise the exit fee to more than $50 million for any team wishing to leave. Unfortunately for the university, every other member of the ACC other than Florida State voted in favor of the increased penalty, and it passed without any real fight. Given the way it voted and Maryland’s recent decision to bolt for the Big Ten, it’s not surprising the remaining members would be a bit concerned about whether or not the Terrapins will fork over the money, but the route they’ve decided to take certainly is a bit of a shock.

According to ESPN, the ACC powers that be have officially taken legal action against the departing school. Their collective lawsuit claims Maryland President Wallace D Loh “refused to provide assurance” to leaders from the other schools that Maryland will actually pay all or part of the $53 million. Consequently, all of the schools voted unanimously to pursue a course of legal action in order to “ensure enforcement” of the obligation.

Since every member of the ACC previously agreed to abide by all rulings of votes conducted by the conference’s council of presidents, the lawsuit seems to have real legal standing. In fact, the only way Maryland will beat the lawsuit is probably to prove it’s not legal for conferences to impose exit fees.

We’ll keep you updated as this case winds its way through the court system.



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