The ACC is a league that has always prided itself on its rich history and tradition. It's a delicate balance, certainly, as college sports heads full-steam ahead into the 21st century and money is more a factor than ever before. But it's one the league likes to think that it does well.
That's why it was such a shock to the ACC -- and, really, to everyone -- when Maryland announced it was leaving in November of 2012.
Only one other member has ever left the ACC in its 61-year history, and that was South Carolina (in 1971). But South Carolina's issues with the league had been pretty well-known. Maryland's -- aside from the school's opposition to the exit fee (which was voted in anyway) -- were not, and the negotiations to make the move were mostly made in secret.
And both South Carolina and Maryland, the only two schools that have left the league now (both charter members), might have ended up leaving because of issues that were cleared up not long after their exit.
South Carolina was ...