The Atlantic Coast Conference filed a lawsuit against the University of Maryland for a $50 million exit fee that university President Wallace D. Loh said he does not expect to pay in full.
The clerk’s office at Guilford County Superior Court in North Carolina confirmed that the lawsuit was filed Monday.
The lawsuit was first reported by The Chronicle, the student newspaper of Duke University.
Loh announced Nov. 19 that the university would move to the Big 10 conference in 2014, leaving the ACC and the traditions of the conference after 60 years, and setting off reactions from the university community.
In September, the ACC raised its exit fee to $50 million, a move against which Loh voted, citing “philosophical and legal reasons,” he said at a news conference Nov. 19.
The motive behind the move is primarily a financial one, university officials said, making Maryland party to a chunk of revenue from the Big 10 Network. Maryland cut seven sports programs over the last year when funding for the teams was unavailable.
Last year, $248 million in Big 10 revenue was divided up among the 12 member schools.
At the Nov. 19 conference, Loh said he didn’t expect the university to be paying the full $50 million exit fee and that no taxpayer money would go toward any of the fee, as the athletic department is self-sustaining.
The university would discuss the exact amount to be paid in private, he said. Loh would not say whether the university would fight the fee in court.
University of Maryland officials and ACC officials did not immediately return requests for comment.