On Wednesday, the Atlantic Coast Conference posted a link to a video on its Facebook page meant to officially announce the decision to add Louisville as a replacement for the Maryland program, which recently decided to leave for the Big Ten.
The post text stated, "In a year filled with conference realignment, the ACC announced it will add Louisville as a member," which is in the type of language expected in this kind of situation. However, the next line left very little to be imagined, saying that this move "can be considered an upgrade with Louisville bringing with it a basketball team led by Rick Pitino and a BCS-caliber football squad."
Maryland made no secret of its desire for more money out of the new deal. "Membership in the Big Ten is in the strategic interest of the University of Maryland," Maryland President Wallace Loh told reporters during a news conference about the recent decision. "We will be able to insure the financial sustainability of Maryland athletics for decades to come."
The unexpected move by Maryland to join Rutgers in entering the Big Ten brought on a quick lawsuit by the Atlantic Coast Conference demanding the full $50 million exit fee, only recently voted on by the members of the conference. It must be noted that Wallace Loh actually voted against the new lofty fee, citing its inability to hold up legally.
The ACC seems to have no intention to negotiate the matter, which likely has caused the type of back-and-forth that could continue until the conference transitions are complete.
With Maryland's football team's recent decline, partly due to the loss of four scholarship quarterbacks to injury in the same season, and a basketball program that hasn't been able to get back to national prominence on a consistent level, it would seem that adding Louisville is actually an "upgrade" at this point. But stating the obvious sometimes is the best insult.
Stay tuned. This could get ugly.
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