The latest installment of the Florida State-ACC legal drama dropped on Wednesday evening, when the conference filed an injunction to keep the university out of its affairs.
A quick catch-up: The ACC, anticipating legal action from FSU, filed a suit in North Carolina on Dec. 21 to defend its Grant of Rights, a fancy way of saying that the conference owns media rights and schools can’t leave in the middle of a media agreement without paying a huge sum. FSU took its stand the next day (Dec. 22) in Florida court, claiming that the format is unfair and the conference mishandled both media rights negotiations and conference realignment.
Wednesday’s 55-page filing is significant because the conference is seeking to stop any FSU personnel from “participating in the management of the affairs” of the conference while the legal battle continues. The ACC wants to retain FSU as a member institution, but it also wants to stop the school from holding any power within it for the time being.
The ACC also claims FSU broke confidentiality agreements by disclosing the details of the conference’s media deal with ESPN on a number of occasions, including during a public meeting of the Board of Trustees in late December. In six claims, up from the original filing’s two, the conference maintains its Grant of Rights is enforceable and has been breached by FSU.
The dispute stems from a number of pressure points: ballooning media rights deals, significant conference realignment, and undefeated FSU’s exclusion from the college football playoff all brought the issues to a head.