ACC files brief opposed to FSU motion to dismiss


The ACC filed a brief Tuesday in North Carolina court in opposition to Florida State’s motion to dismiss or stay its case, the latest legal filing before a scheduled hearing March 22 where both parties will make their cases in front of a judge.

In Tuesday’s brief, the ACC outlined why the case should play out in North Carolina — reiterating it is the appropriate venue for a dispute over a North Carolina contract to be decided.

The ACC filed suit against the Florida State board of trustees 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 the $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.

In its motion to dismiss, the Florida State board of trustees argued the ACC lawsuit was a “race to the courthouse” and “fundamentally flawed.” In the brief filed Tuesday in response, the ACC argued that it had no choice but to file its lawsuit first to protect itself and the grant of rights.

“There is nothing improper about a party seeking to protect its rights by filing first,” the ACC argued.

In addition, the ACC argued that the North Carolina court should not defer to the Florida court, as Florida State has asked, because “FSU has not met its burden to show substantial injustice.”

The ACC has filed its own motion to dismiss or stay the case in Leon County, Florida. No court hearing has been set yet for that case.

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