I tell you what, if Maryland had put as much effort into managing the financial affairs of its athletic department as it is fighting the ACC’s attempt to collect a $52 million exit payment following its announced departure to the Big Ten, the Terps may never have felt the pressure to leave in the first place. It’s served a number of its former peers (North Carolina, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Duke, North Carolina State, Clemson, Notre Dame, Syracuse and Virginia) with subpoenas. It’s also hit the conference with a demand about… scheduling.
Maryland has also requested documents connected to the formation of the Maryland men’s basketball team’s 2013-14 ACC schedule. For the first time since the league was founded, the Terps did not host Duke or North Carolina in College Park. At the league media day in Charlotte, ACC Commissioner John Swofford was asked how a scheduling quirk like that comes about and whether it was connected to Maryland’s pending departure.
“Through the regular scheduling process,” Swofford said then. “That’s not particularly unusual. The great thing we have in this league right now, when you look at the quality of programs, you can’t have a bad home schedule. You’re going to have quality teams and quality brands coming in wherever you are. Obviously one of the things you lose when you get bigger is some people don’t play each other as much. That’s just part of the growth.”
Mike Slive nods in agreement.
Give ‘em credit for being persistent buggers.
According to a motion to stay discovery filed by the ACC on March 4, Maryland served the ACC 94 document requests covering a time span of 12 years in late December. Shortly thereafter, the court filing says, Maryland began serving subpoenas to the ACC schools and eight third-party media entities and subpoenas are currently pending with at least 19 separate entities seeking more than 35 categories of documents from each.
In the example subpoenas filed to Duke and North Carolina State, 47 categories of documents are requested, ranging from documents related to the ACC’s constitution to media talking points after Maryland announced its departure to the evaluation of possible new members.
Third-party media entities? Not Disney! Well, yes, now that you mention it.
In addition, Maryland has served subpoenas to ESPN, consistent with its allegation that the television network coaxed the ACC into trying to lure Big Ten schools away.
I assume the irony isn’t escaping anyone there.