Maryland sued the Atlantic Coast Conference after the college football association took legal action to force the University of Maryland to pay $52.3 million in exit fees for dropping out of the conference.
The state said in a complaint filed in Maryland that the exit penalty is a violation of antitrust law. Maryland also moved to dismiss the ACC’s lawsuit in state court in North Carolina, according to a statement from Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler. Maryland’s suit was filed in Prince George’s County Circuit Court.
“Our lawsuit calls the ACC’s ‘exit fee’ what it really is -- an antitrust violation and an illegal activity,” Gansler said in the statement. “Our motion in North Carolina will ensure that a Maryland court will rule on the case.”
The University of Maryland announced in November that it would leave the ACC and join the Big Ten Conference in 2014. The ACC sued to enforce the withdrawal penalty the same month.
Maryland said in its motion to dismiss the ACC’s complaint that a court of one state can’t force another state to submit to its jurisdiction.
The North Carolina case is Atlantic Coast Conference v. University of Maryland, 12-10736, State of North Carolina, Guilford County, General Court of Justice, Superior Court Division.
Spoke with Attorney General Doug Gansler. Said the ACC has begun withholding revenue from Maryland as "collateral against the exit fee."
Gansler: "They are withholding royalties, the amount of money the University of Maryland is entitled to."
Gansler said ACC has withheld around $5 million so far. According to the ACC's letter, each withholding gets subtracted from exit fee total