College Football Playoff: Sports attorney says FSU has a ‘fighting chance’ for possible lawsuit

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Shortly after Florida State secured the Atlantic Coast Conference title, there were cheers. That joyfulness was short-lived as less than 24 hours later, the Seminoles learned that despite staying undefeated and winning the conference title with their 3rd string quarterback, they would not get to play for a College Football National Championship.

The blowback against the College Football Playoff selection committee’s decision was swift, and has so far been unrelenting with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis among the latest people to pitch the idea of a lawsuit. The Governor is proposing a $114 billion budget for the next fiscal year. Of that he wants to earmark $1 million for building FSU’s case.

“We’re setting aside a million dollars for any litigation expenses that may become as a result of this really, really, poor decision by the college football playoffs,” DeSantis said on Tuesday while discussing next year’s state budget.

But is the talk of a lawsuit just hot air?
It’s a given that people lose every day and that nothing is really guaranteed, no matter how hard someone works for it. So why are so many people so mad about the CFP’s move to the point where they’re considering suing over it?

The University of Michigan, Washington, Texas, and Alabama will begin playing in major televised semifinal games for the College Football National title later this month. As for Florida State, it will face a one loss Georgia team in a lower caliber bowl game later. WFSU spoke with Florida-based sports attorney, Jason Setchen for his input. He says Florida State’s game against Georgia might be a key piece in building a solid case.

“Do they have a case? The answer to that would be, potentially, because most lawsuits have to deal with money and monetary losses.”

Setchen is a practicing sports attorney in Miami with over 25 years of experience in litigation. He represents athletes from almost every level, including high school and collegiate players. He says FSU may have a fighting chance for a potential lawsuit against the college football playoff selection committee.

“I don’t know exactly what the numbers will look like when everything shakes out, but if Florida State plays in the Orange Bowl and makes a certain sum of money for their involvement in that, and they would have received more money had they played in the college football playoff, and they were wronged by not being able to participate in the football playoff, then they would have a monetary loss that they could seek legal remedy for potentially.”

Florida is standing behind the Noles
Over the last week, Florida State has gained legal support from other government officials like State Republican Senator Corey Simon, who played football at Florida State and retired from the pros. He’s partnering up with U.S. Senator, and former governor, Rick Scott in the fight. Scott sent the playoff committee chairman Boo Corrigan, a three-page letter on Monday expressing his disappointment with the group and its decision to keep FSU out of the playoffs.

In the letter Scott wrote that he demands “total transparency,” from the committee and wants each member to hand over any texts, emails, or notes used as deciding factors against Florida State.

The outrage stems from comments made by Corrigan on ESPN the day after the team won its 16th ACC title without their starting quarterback, Jordan Travis who suffered a severe season-ending leg injury during the last home game.

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