One of the biggest questions in our ongoing conference realignment drama is what will happen with the University of Maryland's exit fee for jumping from the ACC to the Big 10. As any reader of this blog is probably aware, the ACC is hoping to collect a mammoth $52 million fee for the Terrapin's departure, and the school, unsurprisingly, isn't wild about paying it. The two sides have gone to court, and a lot of realignment news might depend on the outcome -- if Maryland has to pay the full fee, it's going to make jumping to a knew league far less enticing for the North Carolinas and Florida States of the world.
Anyway, this legal drama got a new development today as a North Carolina judge denied a motion by Maryland to dismiss the ACC's lawsuit seeking to collect the fee. Maryland had argued that as a state-school it was protected by sovereign immunity, something the judge apparently didn't buy. Maryland has 30 days to appeal the ruling. That means the legal drama will continue for at least a while longer, and keep the schools and conferences interested in switching dance partners in limbo. For now.