Florida State Announces Lawsuit Against ACC

todayDecember 22, 2023

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Florida State has announced that it is suing the ACC to challenge the conference’s “grant of rights” and the prohibitive $130M withdrawal fee imposed on members. “I believe this board has been left no choice but to challenge the legitimacy of the ACC grant of rights and its severe withdrawal penalties. None of us like being in this position. However, I believe that we have exhausted all possible remedies within the conference and we must do what we believe is best for Florida State not only in the short term but in the long term,” board chair Peter Collins said in a statement.

The move thrusts the Seminoles, and the ACC, into uncharted waters. The ACC has previously described its grant of rights as “ironclad” and no school has ever challenged it. Upon receiving word of the lawsuit, ACC commissioner Jim Phillips lamented Florida State’s decision. “Florida State’s decision to file action against the Conference is in direct conflict with their longstanding obligations. This is a clear violation of their legal commitments to the other members of the Conference. All ACC members, including Florida State, willingly and knowingly re-signed the current Grant of Rights in 2016, which is wholly enforceable and binding through 2036. Each university has benefited from this agreement, receiving millions of dollars in revenue and neither Florida State nor any other institution, has ever challenged its legitimacy,” Phillips said.

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Why Is Florida State Suing The ACC?

The Seminoles has spent the last year growing increasingly vocal about their discontent with the ACC. Revenue gaps, revenue distribution, and the conference’s overall standing in college athletics have all been raised as issues. However, the tipping point was the school’s exclusion from the College Football Playoff. The Seminoles were left out in favor of Alabama. Furthermore, the primary reason given was that the SEC is a stronger conference than the ACC.

At the state level, Florida has bristled at the exclusion. Governor Ron DeSantis asked the state legislature for $1 million in their new budget. The intention is to use the money to sue the NCAA for excluding Florida State from the College Football Playoff. Furthermore, the state AG Ashley Moody also launched an investigation into the CFP committee. “I’m a lifelong Gator, but I’m also the Florida attorney general, and I know injustice when I see it. My office is launching an investigation to examine if the committee was involved in any anticompetitive conduct,” Moody said in a video filmed on Florida State’s campus.

Read More: Florida State Basketball Coach Wants March Madness Doubled


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