The legal battles between Florida State and the ACC continue to get uglier. Florida State’s Board of Trustee’s voted unanimously to take legal action against the ACC just before Christmas in order to free the school from the ACC’s draconian Grant of Rights agreement. However, shortly thereafter news broke that the ACC had preemptively filed its own lawsuit in North Carolina to stop Florida State.
ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported the ACC has filed an amendment to the lawsuit
NEWS: The ACC has filed an amended complaint as part of its legal jockeying with Florida State. "Florida State has chosen to breach its contractual obligations. It has violated its contractual promise not to challenge the validity or enforceability of the Grant of Rights." pic.twitter.com/ScBbhIrM4f— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) January 17, 2024
The ACC now has a total of 6 complaints against Florida State
- Request for declaratory judgment that the ACC grant of rights and the 2016 amendment are valid
- Florida State waived its right to challenge the grant of rights by accepting it
- Florida State breached the promises it made in the original grant of rights agreement
- Florida State trade secrets between the ACC and ESPN
- Florida State breached fiduciary obligations to the conference
- Florida State failed in its obligation to act in good faith according to the ACC Constitution
The ACC’s Grant of Rights does have a provision that member schools can’t challenge it in court. However, the legality of the provision seems dubious at best.
That is the weakest of all the ACC arguments. Not even a little concerned about that provision.— RohanLaw (@RohanLawPC) January 17, 2024
This news comes on the heels of Sportico reporting Florida State’s athletics department went into debt this past year to help fund football despite increased revenue from local sources such as ticket sales.
FSU–which is currently suing to get out of the ACC and exploring private equity funding for its athletic department–finished 2022-23 with $170M in revenue for a total deficit of $2.5 million. It finished FY22 with a reported $10M+ surplus.https://t.co/NPM35swMAj pic.twitter.com/BpjcuXPwS8— Daniel Libit (@DanielLibit) January 17, 2024
This is just the first of many steps along the path for FSU to win its independence from the ACC’s Grant of Rights. As Tomahawk Nation previously chronicled, the fight involves hundreds of millions of dollars for Florida State and the conference.