TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida State University Board of Trustees voted unanimously Friday morning to file a lawsuit against the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). This is the second time FSU’s athletic department has been involved in legal action in 10 days.
In this latest round, FSU wants out of the ACC and doesn't want to pay the $572 million penalty to leave. The lawsuit says the ACC breached its contract with the university by not making enough money on media rights. It also says the conference violated Florida's antitrust laws.
"We have exhausted all possible remedies within the conference, and we must do what's best for Florida State not only in the short term, but in the long term," said Board Chair Peter Collins, FSU Board of Trustees.
Collins went on to say that this is not about what happened with the College Football Playoff.
FSU was left out of the top four, even though it had an undefeated season. This is the first time a Power 5 conference champion without a loss has not had a chance to play for the national title. Collins says this lawsuit has been in the works for more than a year because of concerns about the ACC leadership and its future.
Following the FSU decision, ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips released a statement saying:
"Florida State's decision to file action against the Conference is in direct conflict with their longstanding obligations and is a clear violation of their legal commitments to the other members of the Conference."
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is also looking into the snub by the College Football Playoff. She sent a subpoena on December 12 as part of an antitrust investigation by the state into why the team was left out. In a recent budget budget proposal, Governor Ron Desantis wants to set aside million of dollars for any litigation expenses.
"We don't expect to change the outcome, but folks want answers, and they want to ensure the purity of process," Moody said.
If FSU leaves the ACC, the next question is what conference will it move to? Athletic director Michael Alford told The Athletic in November that not joining a conference and going independent was not a true option.