What are some of the issues at the heart of the chill in the Maryland-ACC relationship?
Jeff Barker: It’s not just the obvious – that Maryland opted to leave the conference in favor of the Big Ten, effective in July 2014.
It seems to be more than that. I sense that both parties believe the other pushed too hard.
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The ACC was clearly irritated that Maryland swiftly and directly challenged the validity of the conference’s $52 million exit fee. Maryland says the fee is random and punitive. Its president, Wallace Loh, is the former dean of the University of Washington law school and was proactive during the conference switch.
Not only did the ACC file suit against Maryland, but it began withholding shared conference revenues.
In December, the ACC withheld a distribution of about $3 million owed to Maryland as what it called an "offset" against the $52 million exit fee.
So the dispute escalated -- Maryland filed its own suit -- with each party apparently believing the other was overreaching.
I suspect additional factors have led to bruised feelings. Newsobserver.com in North Carolina reported in May that ACC commissioner John Swofford was stunned by Maryland’s departure.
Said the News Observer: "Maryland was a charter member of the ACC, and its defection blindsided Swofford."
I wrote a story this week about this ongoing, awkward situation. Here we have Maryland teams playing in a conference that is mired in a legal tangle with the school.
It's hardly ideal.
What will local recruiting look like for the Terps' basketball program in 2015?
Matt Bracken: Rivals.com came out this week with its Top 100 for the class of 2015. In that list of the 100 best rising juniors in the country, a grand total of four players from the greater College Park area were listed.
That's a far cry from 2014, when St. Frances forward Dwayne Morgan, St. James forward Obi Enechionyia, Mount St. Joseph guard Phil Booth and St. Maria Goretti forward Martin Geben all earned Maryland offers. Dion Wiley and Melo Trimble, of course, were also local top-100 prospects that committed to the Terps.
From a quick glance at the new Rivals.com list, it's probably reasonable to assume that the Terps will have to look beyond Maryland, D.C., and Northern Virginia when they fill out that 2015 recruiting class.
Maryland has already reportedly offered point guard Bryant Crawford (No. 26) from Gonzaga (D.C.), shooting guard Franklin Howard (No. 40) from Paul VI in Fairfax, Va., and power forward from Marcus Derrickson (No. 45) from Paul VI. But with Trimble, Wiley and Roddy Peters on the roster, Maryland faces a challenge convincing the 2015 local guards that playing time is available. Derrickson, meanwhile, also has plenty of options.
The final 2015 local prospect listed in Rivals' list is Milford Mill's Justin Jenifer. The 5-foot-9, 160-pound point guard checks in at No. 94 nationally. Rivals doesn't list any offers for Jenifer yet, and it's probably fair to assume with Peters and Trimble in back-to-back classes, Maryland will be picky with point guard offers and might not even take a 1 for 2015.
It's too early to identify who might seriously emerge as a 2015 target for the Terps, but for a coaching staff that has landed players from Texas, Georgia, Massachusetts and New Jersey, recruiting outside this area probably isn't a huge concern.