Leon County judge sends strong statement on ACC filing motion to stay for FSU lawsuit in North Carolina

Louisiana v Florida State
Louisiana v Florida State / James Gilbert/GettyImages

Leon County judge John Cooper didn't show any favor towards the ACC or FSU in the conference's Atlantic Coast Conference vs. Board of Trustees of Florida State University suit after the former filed a motion to stay in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina was denied, but the second circuit judge did call out the conference for "forum shopping"; essentially accusing them of trying to find the most favorable setting for their case.

“I'm not saying Florida State is right, I’m not saying Florida State has the better argument on the merits,” Cooper said (h/t TheOsceola). “I'm just saying the motion to stay should be denied.”

An FSU statement showed approval of Cooper's decision.

"FSU is pleased with Judge Cooper’s ruling today denying the ACC’s motion to postpone our lawsuit over the mishandling of media rights," a statement from FSU said. "We agree with his conclusions that the ACC’s North Carolina action was an anticipatory filing disfavored by courts, and that the sovereignty of the State of Florida supports the resolution of these matters in Florida.

"We will continue to press our case both in Leon County and North Carolina to show the ACC seeks to impose an unconscionable financial penalty to prevent its members from exercising their right to leave."

ACC looking for alternative options in suit against FSU

The ACC's statement was predictably not as enthused about Cooper's decision, publicly declaring their intent to find alternative options to ultimately get the better of the Seminoles' boosters in the court of law.

“While we respect the court’s decision, we strongly disagree with its determination surrounding our requested stay in Florida, especially following the North Carolina court’s decision," the ACC said in a statement. "We are examining our options as it relates to next steps.”

Whatever the next steps are, the end game is this: FSU will be leaving the ACC for, most likely, the SEC, unless the Big Ten looks past their lack of accreditation.