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Maryland to pay $31 million exit fee to ACC

The University of Maryland must pay the Atlantic Coast Conference $31 million as an exit fee for leaving to join the Big Ten.

The ACC sought a $52 million exit fee in 2012 but agreed on the lower amount Friday after lawsuits in North Carolina and Maryland were settled.

Maryland is paying about 60 percent of what the conference originally requested. The ACC gets to recoup a significant amount of money for losing Maryland and the school is expected to do well, financially, in the money-rich Big Ten.

University of Miami president Donna Shalala, also the ACC Council of Presidents chair, said in a statement that the conference is happy to “move forward, returning our focus where it belongs — on our student-athletes, intercollegiate athletic programs and institutions of higher learning. ... There is great excitement surrounding the ACC and its 15 member institutions and we extend our best wishes to our colleagues at Maryland as we all look ahead to the upcoming academic year.”

ACC commissioner John Swofford credited Shalala and the conference’s council for working out the deal.

“I commend our Council of Presidents and specifically Donna Shalala for steering us to this resolution,” he said in a statement. “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. We wish the University of Maryland well and appreciate their past contributions as we collectively look toward the future.”

Maryland president Wallace D. Loh said in the statement: “Today’s agreement helps usher in exciting new eras for both the university and the ACC. We wish the conference and our ACC university colleagues well.”

Maryland spent 61 years in the ACC.