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Lawsuit Over College Park’s ACC Exit Goes Before Md. Court

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(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Alex DeMetrick 370x278 Alex DeMetrick
Alex DeMetrick has been a general assignment reporter with WJZ...
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UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WJZ) — With millions of dollars at stake, a hearing is underway at this hour in Prince George’s County.

It all revolves around big time college sports.

Alex DeMetrick is covering the back and forth arguments.

This legal wrangling was sparked by the University of Maryland’s decision to have its teams play in a more lucrative conference.

When the University of Maryland jumped from the ACC to the Big Ten Conference last year, it filed suit in North Carolina, claiming Maryland owed an exit fee of between $52 million and $53 million.

So Maryland filed a countersuit in Prince George’s County Court.

“It’s more appropriately litigated in the state of Maryland where the University of Maryland is located,” said Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler.

That’s half of Maryland’s argument.

The other half deals with the anti-trust.

“[It] claims, saying you cannot prohibit the free flow of colleges to join whatever conference they want to go to by trying to extort $53 million,” said Ganlser.

But in it’s suit, the ACC argues “courts routinely find collegiate sports leagues like the ACC to be unique commercial actors whose very nature means that the internal governance issues be regulated uniformly on a national basis, if these leagues are to exist at all.”

And it all comes down to money.

But right now, the ACC has put a hold on broadcast money owed Maryland, earned before the move to the Big Ten.

That issue, along with jurisdiction and the back-and-forth on antitrust are still being argued inside court.

And WJZ will continue following the hearing and bring you the judge’s ruling when it happens.

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