The University of Maryland continued its defense Thursday of a suit filed in November by the Atlantic Coast Conference seeking to compel the school to pay the full exit fee -- $52,266,342 -- after its decision to leave the conference and join the Big Ten.
Arguments were heard by a three-judge panel in Raleigh, N.C., of the state Court of Appeals, a middle-level appellate court.
In court documents, Maryland has argued that, as an extension of the state, it has sovereign immunity shielding it from lawsuits such as the ACC’s.
The ACC argued Thursday that sovereign immunity doesn’t apply to this case, according to The Associated Press. "Maryland can only have immunity in Maryland," said Alan W. Duncan, a Greensboro lawyer representing the ACC, the AP reported.
No decision was immediately rendered on the suit’s status.
Maryland has filed its own suit in Prince George's County Circuit Court. That case alleges that that the exit fee is anti-competitive and should not be enforced.
In June, a judge stayed the bulk of Maryland’s suit pending the resolution of the North Carolina case.