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TEAM COVERAGE: Leon Co. judge agrees to move forward with lawsuit between Florida State University and ACC

Cooper will now hear arguments for a motion to dismiss the Florida case April 22
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Posted at 10:02 AM, Apr 09, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-09 18:35:09-04
  • A Leon County judge has agreed to keep moving forward with a lawsuit between Florida State University and its conference— the Atlantic Coast Conference.
  • Cooper will now hear arguments for a motion to dismiss the Florida case April 22.
  • Watch the video above for team coverage of the situation.


After a full day of debate, the judge overseeing the case denied the ACC's motion to stay. Here's how it went down and what that means in the near future.

The ACC spent hours making its opening case that Florida State's lawsuit in Leon County be thrown out. Arguing that its initial lawsuit filed in North Carolina back in December -- where it's accusing FSU of breach of contract -- was filed first and should be priority.

Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Alan Lawson argues, "we're talking about one case and two courts with concurrent jurisdiction. All of the questions that arise are properly -- under Florida law -- considered only in the North Carolina court which has exclusive jurisdiction to decide those questions because we filed first."

In response, Florida State's attorneys claimed that the money FSU stands to lose from staying under the ACC grant of rights exceeds $500 million. When you add that to the ACC's exit fee of $130 million, attorney Peter Rush says it's affecting all of Florida, and because of that -- it should be a Florida case.

"It's projecting out the loss to the state of Florida of 12 years of what should have been the national champions' home games. That's what it is, and that's what it means to this community," Rush said.

Florida State's lawyers also claimed that the university has been getting treated like it's already withdrawn from the conference. To actually go through with that, FSU would have to give at least a year's notice.


Leon County Judge John Cooper struck down a stay motion in the FSU-ACC lawsuit

This court case is not over, though. A second hearing has been scheduled for Monday, April 22 at 9:30 in the morning. In downtown Tallahassee, Alberto Camargo. Now, for some extra context, Shamarria Morrison is breaking down how the reverse case -- FSU trying to get ACC's lawsuit thrown out -- went down in North Carolina.

While the case in Leon County goes on in North Carolina another battle between the ACC and FSU is pushing forward. Earlier this month a judge in North Carolina denied Florida State's request to dismiss the ACC's lawsuit against the school.

You may remember-- the day before FSU's board or trustees approved it's court filing in a public meeting, the ACC preemptively filed its lawsuit in North Carolina against Florida State.

A North Carolina Judge ruled that the ACC had sufficiently argued it had followed conference procedures in filing suit in December against Florida State and that North Carolina is the appropriate jurisdiction for the case.

The basis of the ACC's filing—FSU could not challenge the grant of rights that it had signed.

In 2013 and 2016, Florida State agreed to what's called a "Grant of Rights." That's a legal document signed by each current member of the ACC that transfers ownership of media rights from the school to the conference.

In the simplest terms this means the ACC, not Florida State owns the rights to broadcasts of games. Florida State promised in the agreement that its Grant was "irrevocable" and "exclusive" through its term.

Clemson recently filed a similar lawsuit to Florida State's against the ACC in South Carolina. The ACC claims that both schools are breaching their contracts with the conference by suing.

The next hearing in North Carolina has not been set.



Hon. John Cooper, is holding his court's first hearing since FSU sued the ACC in December. He’s mullling whether to support the ACC's motion to dismiss the Seminoles' case or pause it until after the conference's suit is resolved in North Carolina.


Florida State has sued the ACC, setting the stage for a fight to leave over revenue concerns

The Seminoles brought the suit in Leon County court to decide if a pair of nine-figure contracts are enforceable. The ACC says they are, FSU disagrees. If the court sides with Florida State, the 'Noles could, theoretically, leave the ACC for free as soon as this year. If Cooper backs the ACC, FSU estimates its exit would cost $572 million.