Florida attorney general files suit against ACC to view full text of conference's TV deal

The state of Florida is now involved in Florida State's dispute against the ACC

The Florida attorney general is now involved in Florida State’s dispute with the ACC.

Ashley Moody’s office filed a suit against the conference in Leon County, Florida, on Thursday. The suit seeks to make the text of the ACC’s TV contract public as Florida State looks for ways to get out of the deal it signed with the ACC without paying a hefty exit fee.

The suit claims the ACC’s TV deal is public record in Florida and should be made easily accessible. You can view the full text here.

“Documents are public records even if prepared and maintained by a private organization if they were ‘received’ by agents of a public agency and used in connection with public business,” the suit states. “The term ‘received’ in section 119.011 refers not only to a situation in which a public agent takes physical delivery of a document, but also to one in which a public agent examines a document residing remotely; otherwise, a party could easily circumvent the public records laws.”

In a statement, Moody said her office had sent a public records request to the conference in January.

Florida State first sued the conference in December and challenged the conference’s exit fees if a school was to leave the conference early. ACC schools previously signed a grant of rights deal with the conference through 2036 as part of the creation of the ACC Network.

Going forward, the ACC is set to receive a smaller portion of College Football Playoff revenue than the Big Ten and SEC. That means smaller per-school payouts for ACC schools compared to their counterparts in those two conferences. That gap could be as much as $45 million a year in the near future.

Florida State is unhappy with that distribution and would like the ability to easily change conferences without owing the ACC up to $500 million in exit penalties — even if its next conference is unclear at the moment.

Clemson followed Florida State’s lead and filed a suit against the conference in March. The ACC recently expanded and added Cal, Stanford and SMU ahead of the 2024 football season following the dissolution of the Pac-12.

Moody’s suit to view the text of the ACC TV contract comes days after a hearing in FSU’s case against the ACC. The judge overseeing FSU’s suit said Monday the school needed to amend its complaint for clarity. Judge John C. Cooper denied the ACC’s motion to dismiss the suit and requested that both sides enter mediation talks within 120 days.