Originally written on The Sports Rocker  |  Last updated 11/20/12
Earlier this year, the ACC voted to raise the conference's exit fee to $50 million after Notre Dame joined. Many people will point and say, "well Maryland is already broke! Who is going to pay the fee?"" The short answer is the Big Ten will cover it. The big answer is it doesn't matter how much it is.After Notre Dame joined, the ACC voted to raise the exit fee to to $50 million. The only schools to vote against it were Maryland and Florida State. It wouldn't and shouldn't shock anyone if we later learned that Maryland was already in negotiations with the Big 10 when the exit fee decision was made. ACC members could have voted to raise the exit fee to $150 million and it still wouldn't have mattered.When Pittsburgh was in negotiations with the Big East to leave the conference, they settled out of court after deciding to pay $7.5 million and be able to walk earlier than conference bylaws originally allowed. The $7.5 million Pitt paid was the same Syracuse paid to leave as well. That being said, it's unlikely that the ACC forces Maryland's hand in regards to paying the full amount. Just about every school involved in this realignment fiasco has had to negotiate some sort of departure fee. It's just the way business is done. And this is business. Don't be fooled about by the "student athlete" argument.One school that is watching this oh-so-closely is Florida State. FSU is watching this play out with one hand on the parachute lever, and one eye on either the SEC or the Big 12. And who can blame them? The ACC's football brand has become so watered down that even if an ACC school went undefeated, it would likely get leapfrogged by other teams for the national championship game. And FSU doesn't play football for Chik-Fil-A and Peach Bowls. No, they want big-time bowl games.On the other hand, as far as the exit fee is concerned, if ACC Commissioner John Swofford, does hold Maryland's feet to the fire, and they have to cough up the full $50 mill, then that might give FSU some pause, and hopefully, reassurance.
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