ACC, Maryland battle gets mediator

The ongoing battle between the ACC and the University of Maryland got a push toward a settlement this week with the appointment of a mediator to oversee discussions, according to the Washington Post.

Maryland, a charter member of the ACC, is set to leave the conference for the Big Ten in June, but the ACC has filed suit seeking to enforce a $52 million exit fee. The penalty for departing schools was agreed upon by ACC members in September 2012, more than doubling the previous exit fee, with only Maryland and Florida State voting against it then.

Maryland filed a $157 million counter-suit for alleged antitrust violations in January, arguing that the ACC violated its own bylaws when attempting to implement the higher exit fee.

Agreeing on mediation does not mean a settlement is imminent, but it could be a push in that direction rather than continued litigation in a dispute that has grown increasingly contentious since the Terrapins announced their decision to join the Big Ten.

The Washington Post reports Jonathan A. Marks, a Bethesda, Md.-based arbiter, will serve as mediator.

Maryland will join Rutgers as the newest members of the Big Ten this fall. Louisville will replace the Terrapins in the ACC.