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ACC, Maryland settle suit for $31 million

GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Atlantic Coast Conference and the University of Maryland have settled their legal dispute about the Terrapins’ exit from the league.

Under terms of a settlement announced Friday, the ACC will keep the approximately $31 million it had previously withheld from Maryland and the school will not owe the conference any more money.

In addition, lawsuits filed by both sides will be dismissed.

“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,” ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. “We wish the University of Maryland well and appreciate their past contributions as we collectively look toward the future.”

Maryland announced in late 2012 that it would leave the ACC – the conference it helped create – for the Big Ten.

The ACC then sued the school seeking full payment of the $52 million exit fee – which was increased twice in the span of 12 months, first when Pittsburgh and Syracuse were added in 2011 and then in 2012 when Notre Dame was brought in for all sports except football and hockey.

After the ACC withheld Maryland’s TV and bowl revenue, the school followed by suing the ACC in January 2013, calling the fee an illegal penalty.

Earlier this year, the school filed a $157 million counterclaim against the conference, saying the ACC tried to recruit two Big Ten schools after the Terrapins announced their exit from the league.

Maryland officially joined the Big Ten, along with Rutgers, on July 1, and the Terrapins begin play in their new league this season. The ACC added Louisville to replace the Terps.

“The University of Maryland is proud of our long and storied 61-year association with the Atlantic Coast Conference,” Maryland President Wallace D. Loh said in a statement. “Today’s agreement helps usher in exciting new eras for both the university and the ACC.”