Florida State: Accuses ACC of “Self-Dealing” in Latest Complaint

The ongoing legal feud between Florida State University and the Atlantic Coast Conference saw another development on Monday, Jan. 29.

In a 59-page amended complaint against the ACC, filed in Florida’s Leon County Circuit Court, the university added onto its allegation of “chronic fiduciary mismanagement and bad faith” as it seeks a declaratory judgment to void the ACC’s Grant of Rights and withdrawal fee.

FSU filed the initial 38-page complaint in December, asking for a declaratory judgment to potentially leave the conference without receiving penalties of more than $570 million in lost media rights and fees. As part of the complaint, FSU asks the court to rule that the Grant of Rights and withdrawal fee are unenforceable under Florida’s unreasonable restraints of trade statute.

Under the ACC’s Grant of Rights, departing members forfeit annual media revenue until its expiration in 2036, which would amount to $429 million for FSU. Withdrawal would also mean forfeiting $13 million in unreimbursed broadcast fees for the remaining 13 years of the Grant of Rights’ term. Moreover, per the ACC’s Constitution, FSU would have to pay a withdrawal fee of three times the ACC’s operating budget, totaling $130 million. In sum, FSU would be penalized a staggering $572 million.

 

 

Gideon Canice

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