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N.C. Court Dismisses Clemson Motion to Deny ACC Countersuit

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There has been plenty of news in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the ACC, this week, including the addition of Cal, Stanford, and SMU.

The battle between Clemson and the ACC — and Florida State v. the conference — will continue after a North Carolina judge denied a motion from Clemson to dismiss the ACC’s counter suit.

Clemson sued the ACC in March over the current Grant of Rights agreement, joining fellow conference member Florida State in doing so.

Clemson initially filed to challenge the ACC regarding a roughly $140 million exit fee and the conference’s current television deal, which runs through 2036. The ACC counter filed against Clemson to determine whether Clemson must adhere to the previously established contract.

Florida State filed the same claim as Clemson in March, and Judge Louis Bledsoe also denied the request, David Hale of ESPN reported. He further reported that the major difference between the two cases is that the ACC filed its suit against Florida State before FSU filed their in Florida. But Clemson was first to the courts in the attempt to nullify the ACC’s Grant of Rights.

“The only court that has jurisdiction over FSU, Clemson, and the ACC — and thus the only court that can assure a consistent, uniform interpretation of the Grant of Rights Agreements and the ACC’s Constitution and Bylaws, the determinations at the core of the Pending Actions — is a North Carolina court,” Bledsoe wrote, as reported by Hale.

The ACC released a statement following the court ruling Wednesday:

“We are pleased with today’s ruling as it confirms that only a North Carolina court can render a decision that would apply to both Clemson and Florida State. The opinion also reinforces what the ACC has clearly articulated from day one – the North Carolina courts are the proper place to enforce and interpret the ACC’s agreements.

“As the court found, Clemson does not challenge whether the ACC Grant of Rights is valid or enforceable. This recognizes the ACC’s consistent position that the 2013 and 2026 Grant of Rights are valid and enforceable agreements that each of our members entered into voluntarily, with full knowledge of their terms.”

There will be further court cases in the coming days and weeks, with Clemson and the ACC next in court on Friday in Pickens County, S.C.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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