Atlantic Coast Conference Files Countersuit in Contentious Legal Battle with Clemson University

The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) responded to Clemson University filing a lawsuit against it challenging the conference grant of rights and exit fee but countersuing the university in a court filing levied on Wednesday afternoon.

In an escalation of tensions between Clemson and its parent conference, the ACC is also seeking unspecified monetary damages against Clemson University.

The Atlantic Coast Conference filed their countersuit in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina in a filing that argues Clemson University is irrefutably bound by the grant of rights agreement and withdrawal penalty it agreed to as a member of the conference.

The countersuit from the ACC comes less than 24 hours after Clemson launched its lawsuit in Pickens County, South Carolina, and months after the conference was named defendant in a lawsuit brought by Florida State University for many of the same claims outlined by Clemson.

The litigation initiated by both Florida State and Clemson are precursors to both institutions’ efforts to leave the Atlantic Coast Conference. In the case of Florida State, the ACC preemptively filed suit in Mecklenburg County while asking a judge to decree the grant of rights and withdrawal penalty valid through the agreed upon date of June 30, 2036.

The Atlantic Coast Conference is seeking a declaratory judgement on its grant of rights and withdrawal penalty, as well as monetary damages from Clemson University for breach of the grant of rights as well as a breach of what it calls “duty of good faith and fair dealing.”

The first hearing in the case is scheduled to take place on Friday morning in Mecklenburg County.

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