SBD/August 11, 2014/Colleges

ACC, Maryland Finally Agree On $31M Exit Fee Settlement As UM Heads To Big Ten

The Univ. of Maryland and the ACC on Friday "finally agreed on the terms of their messy divorce" -- the school will pay $31M of a $52M exit fee the conference sought, according to Jeff Barker of the Baltimore SUN. The settlement figure is the "amount the ACC already has collected by withholding shared conference revenues -- without Maryland's consent -- to make sure it got at least a portion of what it demanded." After "nearly 21 months of litigation" in Maryland and N.C. courts, each side "can walk away." The $31,361,788 settlement and the $52,266,342 exit fee are "both steep, relative to other separations in recent years." Experts on Friday said that the settlement was "expected and preferable -- for both parties -- to continued, expensive legal wrangling and a possible trial" (Baltimore SUN, 8/9).'s Andrea Adelson wrote this is a "win for both sides." UM ended up "paying less" than $52M to exit, but it also "just paid the largest buyout fee in recent realignment history" (, 8/8). In DC, Roman Stubbs noted the ACC's suit "sparked a contentious two-year legal battle between the league" and UM (, 8/8). In Raleigh, Andrew Carter noted the "end of the legal fight between the ACC and Maryland allows both parties fresh starts after the end of a partnership that spanned six decades" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 8/9).

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