ACC settles lawsuit with Maryland

The ACC's legal battle with the University of Maryland has finally drawn to a close.

The conference announced Friday afternoon that it has settled its lawsuit—first reported by The Chronicle nearly two years ago—with its former member institution, agreeing to keep the more than $31.3 million it was withholding pending litigation. The ACC originally sought $52 million for Maryland's exit fee when the school announced it would leave the ACC after 61 years to join the Big Ten, which it did on July 1 of this year.

“On behalf of the ACC’s Council of Presidents, I am pleased that all parties can move forward, returning our focus where it belongs—on our student-athletes, intercollegiate athletic programs and institutions of higher learning,” said Donna Shalala, Chair of the ACC Council of Presidents and President of the University of Miami, in a statement released by the conference. “There is great excitement surrounding the ACC and its 15 member institutions and we extend our best wishes to our colleagues at Maryland as we all look ahead to the upcoming academic year.”

The settlement comes one day after another major shakeup to the NCAA landscape, a potentially ground-breaking autonomy vote for the league's five largest conferences.

“This agreement allows everyone to fully focus their energy and efforts on prioritizing the student-athletes, especially in this significant time of change within the NCAA restructuring," said ACC Commissioner John Swofford in a statement released by the conference.

With the lawsuit now in the rearview mirror, Maryland's turbulent exit from the conference it helped found draws to an anticlimactic end.

“Our student-athletes, coaches, staff, fans and alumni will forever hold dear the memories of six outstanding decades in the Atlantic Coast Conference,” said Kevin Anderson, Director of Athletics at the University of Maryland in a statement released by the ACC. “Today marks the next chapter in the history of Maryland Athletics, and we look forward to creating new memories in the decades to come.”

The ACC has made its intentions clear not to comment on the lawsuit or the settlement going forward.


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