Reports: Judge denies Florida State’s dismissal request of ACC lawsuit

A North Carolina judge ruled this week denying Florida State’s request to dismiss the Atlantic Coast Conference’s lawsuit against the school, according to multiple reports.

According to Ralph D. Russo of The Associated Press, “Judge Louis A. Bledsoe III ruled that the ACC sufficiently argued it had followed conference procedures in filing suit in December against Florida State” on Thursday and the state of North Carolina “is the appropriate jurisdiction for the dispute.”

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The ruling came two weeks “after a hearing in Mecklenburg County,” according to the AP.

The ACC filed a lawsuit in December 2023 against Florida State alleging the member program violated the Grant of Rights between it and the conference and for breaching contract. It listed other reasons in an amended complaint

Florida State is considering leaving the ACC over revenue distribution. At one point, the Seminoles “very seriously” weighed departing the conference during a board of trustees meeting in August 2023.

Conference realignment has been a big reason why many leagues within college athletics are in a seemingly constant state of evolution. There are teams moving conferences ahead of next football season, and the ACC will welcome Cal, SMU and Stanford.

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Florida State is not the only ACC program with a lawsuit against the conference. According to David Hale of ESPN, Clemson filed a lawsuit against the ACC “arguing that the grant of rights should not apply should the school choose to leave the ACC and that the league’s requirement that any departing teams also pay an exit fee of three times annual revenue was excessive.”

The ACC stated it will “remain committed to acting in the best interests of the league’s members and will see this process through to protect and advance the ACC,” according to the AP.

In response to the denial of its request to dismiss the ACC’s lawsuit, Florida State stated it was “disappointed” in the decision, according to the AP.

According to the AP, Florida State says the total cost to leave the ACC is estimated to be $572 million.