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Judge dismisses part of Maryland’s suit against the ACC

Jun 28, 2013, 5:53 PM EDT

John Swofford AP

One aspect of conference realignment that tends to get overlooked is what happens in the courtroom. More often than not such moves result in dueling lawsuits with the two parties eventually coming to some kind of resolution.

When Maryland announced its decision to leave the ACC for the Big Ten, the ACC responded by filing a lawsuit in a North Carolina court to ensure that they’ll receive the full exit fee (in upwards of nearly $53 million) they expect from the school.

Maryland responded by filing its own suit in a Prince George’s County (Md.) court, and on Friday the judge presiding over the case issued a ruling that likely benefits the ACC.

Judge John Paul Davey dismissed a small portion of Maryland’s suit, accepting the conference’s argument that both suits “should not proceed simultaneously because they were too similar to be treated independently.”

Davey stayed the rest of Maryland’s suit pending the outcome of the North Carolina case, in which preliminary motions have been filed.

“The  decision of the North Carolina Court and the decision by this Court could be similar to one another, could directly compete with one another, and/or could leave unresolved issues,” the judge said in a 36-page opinion.

“Permitting both matters to proceed simultaneously plainly risks inconsistent and/or competing determinations of fact and law, an outcome this Court seeks to avoid,” his opinion said.

Three of the four counts remain, with the lone count dismissed focusing on Maryland’s claim that its “economic and competitive standing” was harmed by leaving the ACC. Davey stated in court according to Jeff Barker of the Baltimore Sun that the school publicly stated that its standing would be enhanced by the move to the Big Ten.

For all the posturing that occurs in conference realignment, these issued tend to get worked out in the end because it does no one any good to delay the inevitable. With Maryland being the first school to leave the ACC in this current era, maybe the ACC was attempting to use the school as an example to its remaining members when it filed last year.

But with the grant of rights agreement the remaining ACC schools agreed to sign back in April, the conference’s future is far more secure.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

  1. nawlinsmitty - Jun 29, 2013 at 3:37 AM

    Maryland saw that they could not win in any sport in the ACC. Add to that the fact that the majority of the school’s new sports admin had no connection to the conference, and you get a weak and cowardly reaction. What a bunch of wussies.

  2. tomtravis76 - Jun 30, 2013 at 2:49 AM

    So, you are obviously only speaking to Maryland couldn’t win at football , because if you take just a second and look past football, MD has done very well in Men’s and Women’s athletics.

    This is a very important case for the other ACC members, it will help lay the ground work for any future departures. And some of them are listening still to pitches.

    The current brass at MD has taken away a huge piece of what MD is athletically. The move to the Big Ten, which will help financially, just makes MD another school. Most Terp fans disliked everything about the Big Ten and its stereotypes. This is a giant change and will take some time for fans to fully get into it. They will try very hard.

  3. themfman - Jul 4, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    I live in md & I’ve been 1 of their biggest acc fans but I will no longer support buy merchandise or go 2 games or even watch them on tv. They will not win just like west Virginia didn’t win after they changed conf. they will b treated like stepchildren cuz there arn’t wanted or needed in big 10. Who is a rival that I would pay 2 see nobody is a rival like duke/carolina this sucks & md will see the error of their ways but they can never comeback 2 acc & I’m gladd that coack K & carolina refused 2 play MD ever again so they never get that last big sell out game B/4 they leave acc

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