Judge rejects FSU movements in legal win for ACC

  • David Hale, ESPN

    • Staff WriterApr 4, 2024, 02:32 PM ET Close ACC reporter.Joined ESPN in 2012.
    • Graduate of the University of Delaware.CHARLOTTE, N.C.– A Mecklenburg

    County judge on Thursday denied 2 motions by Florida State to dismiss or stay a lawsuit submitted by the ACC that the league hopes will require the school to honor its grant of rights agreement and pay the conference more than $500 million if it hopes to leave for another conference before 2036. The ruling by Judge Louis A. Bledsoe III is viewed as a significant win for the

    ACC, as it would likely suggest the fight in between the league and Florida State would proceed in North Carolina rather than Florida, where FSU submitted its own suit versus the conference.The ACC filed its claim in Charlotte on Dec. 21 in anticipation of a suit by FSU in Florida, which came after approval by the school’s board of trustees the following day. FSU’s suit seeks to extricate the university from the ACC’s grant of rights, an agreement that offers the conference ownership of Florida State’s tv media rights through June 2036. The ACC’s match looks for to promote the grant of rights.Editor’s Picks Florida law generally offers choice to the entity that files the very first suit, which in this case is the ACC.

    “We are pleased with today’s choice, which validates North Carolina courts are the appropriate location to impose the ACC’s arrangements and laws,” the ACC said in a statement. “We remain dedicated to acting in the very best interests of the league’s members and will see this procedure through to safeguard and advance the ACC.”

    Florida State had actually argued for dismissal or a stay of the ACC’s lawsuit based, in part, on a claim of sovereign resistance, which avoids states from being taken legal action against in another state. FSU, as a state institution, declared to be covered. Throughout hearings on FSU’s motion to dismiss, the ACC’s lawyer suggested the school’s legal group was playing “a game of whack-a-mole” in trying numerous dubious techniques in an effort to get the ACC’s fit thrown out.

    “Although it’s extremely unusual for a court to dismiss a claim at this preliminary phase, we are disappointed in the Court’s decision not to dismiss the North Carolina claim,” Florida State said in a statement. “At the same time, we appreciate the ruling today that Florida State might not have breached any supposed fiduciary tasks to the ACC by looking for legal relief from the Conference’s gross mishandling of member school media rights. We will continue to strongly advocate for the University, for FSU Athletics, and for the sovereignty of the State of Florida as these cases proceed.”

    Florida State could still appeal the judgment, potentially setting up arguments before the North Carolina Supreme Court.On March 19, Clemson joined Florida State, filing its own match in Pickens County, South Carolina, arguing that the grant of rights must not apply needs to the school choose to leave the ACC which the league’s requirement that any departing teams likewise pay an exit fee of 3 times annual profits was extreme. The ACC filed its own countersuit versus Clemson, also in Charlotte, a day later on.

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