S.C. court orders ACC to provide Clemson with ESPN agreements

CLEMSON, S.C. -- A South Carolina court has ordered the Atlantic Coast Conference to turn over documents about its agreements with ESPN that Clemson has requested in its lawsuit against the conference.

The interim confidentiality order was released on Friday. It said the ACC has seven days to produce unredacted documents about its TV deal with ESPN to Clemson. The order also provides safeguards to keep the requested documents from being released publicly.

The order bars Clemson, a public university, from complying with any Freedom of Information Act requests unless the ACC gives written permission or the school is forced to do so by another court with "competent jurisdiction."

Clemson sued the ACC in March -- filed in South Carolina -- and claimed the ACC's $140 million exit fee is "unconscionably high" and "unenforceable." The school also says the grant of rights only applies if Clemson is part of the conference and that if a school exits the league it retains control of the media rights to its home sporting events.

An amended Clemson complaint released by the court asked the ACC for unspecified punitive damages for the league's "willful and malicious conduct" for its assertion that it should receive TV revenue from Tigers' games even if they were part of another conference.

Florida State was the first ACC member to sue the league in December.