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Florida State files motion to dismiss ACC lawsuit

The Florida State board of trustees filed a motion Wednesday to dismiss the lawsuit the ACC filed against it in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina.

In the motion, Florida State argues the ACC lawsuit is “fundamentally flawed” and an improper attempt at “procedural fencing.” They cite a “race to the courthouse” to file suit against Florida State first, its failure to secure a two-thirds member vote required by the league constitution to initiate a lawsuit and a failure to show the Florida State board approved the grant of rights as required by Florida law, among multiple reasons.

If the court does not dismiss the lawsuit, Florida State has asked the court to issue a stay on the ACC suit in favor of the lawsuit it filed against the ACC in Leon County, Florida. It argues “the Florida Action is the broader and more comprehensive action, and the ACC should not be entitled to any first-filing deference as a result of its improper forum-shopping.”

The ACC filed suit against Florida State on Dec. 21 seeking declaratory judgment in defense of the grant of rights, one day before the Florida State board filed its lawsuit against the ACC that challenged the grant of rights and $130 million withdrawal fee.

Florida State and all other ACC members signed a grant of rights with the league that runs through 2036, the length of its television contract with ESPN. The grant of rights gives the conference control over its media rights — including television revenue and home game broadcasts in all sports. In addition, any school that wants to leave the ACC would have to pay an exit fee of three times the league’s operating budget, or roughly $130 million.


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