So with all of this conference re-alignment stuff going on, there is a lot of money on the line. Million’s of dollars for a conference to release one of their member institutions. The price tag for Maryland to leave the league, is 50 Million dollars. At first, I was on that bandwagon to make Maryland pay every red cent of it when the case goes to trial in a Charlotte court room. Maryland was one of two ACC schools who voted against the mandatory exit fee, but the majority vote prevailed, and all schools are subject to the vote, that is of course the ACC’s argument. However, does Maryland have a leg to stand on? I actually began thinking about this when the 7 Catholic Schools began their plan to exit the now fledgling Big East Conference. That number 7 is ironic, given that the ACC has taken a now 7 teams from that conference. So if you’re Maryland, you have an athletic department in total disarray and struggling financially, needing the guaranteed money from the Big Ten Network. The ACC has taken the teams it wanted, why can’t the Big Ten Conference and Jim Delany do the same? All is fair in conference re-alignment right? It’s hard for me to see the validity of the ACC holding MD to the fire when they have basically dismantled the Big East. Now all of those schools saw the writing on the wall, and left the Big East, but so did MD. Apparently the TV deal is more guaranteed money in the Big Ten, than the shared revenue from the ESPN deal with the ACC.
So technically Maryland is liable under the agreement between the member institutions of the ACC, and there is a good chance Maryland knew their intentions to leave when they voted against the exit fee. However, the ACC may be expressing the frustration of getting a taste of it’s own medicine, after making moves to keep the Big 12 and the SEC from coming after Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Florida State by taking Syracuse, Pitt, Notre Dame, and now Louisville from the Big East. Taylor Zarzour, host of “The Sports Drive” on WFNZ the Fan in Charlotte joined the Best Seat In The House, and he couldn’t make sense of the Maryland move “ the little sister to Duke and Carolina and Virginia and all these others, well guess what, you’re going to be in the same exact role with Ohio State and Michigan…” Taylor agreed that the ACC can’t blame Maryland for leaving given their recent activity, but he does believe their moves will definitely help the conference. “ The ACC is going to own college basketball, with Syracuse and Pitt, Notre Dame and Louisville and all these other schools entering…from a football standpoint they’ll still be fourth or fifth, but as long as they're in the game, as long as they have a seat at the BCS table that’s all that matters…” So will the ACC get its way with Maryland? Many believe they have to get the money to show the other schools not to try the Maryland move. The only trouble with the lawsuit, is that imagine if the Big East had taken the same stance with all of the schools that have left for the ACC. This outcome will certainly be very interesting in Charlotte.