Supreme Court: USC fan exempt from seat-license fees

dcloninger@thestate.comApril 2, 2014 

USC cheerleaders entertain the crowd before the start of the homecoming game against Mississippi State at Williams-Brice Stadium. mkolp. 11/02/13

KKFOSTER@THESTATE.COM

A long-running case between a South Carolina fan and the university he supports has ended – in favor of the fan.

George M. Lee III, a longtime member of the Gamecock Club who once agreed to take out a $100,000 life insurance policy with USC as the sole beneficiary, was awarded a ruling by the South Carolina Supreme Court on Wednesday. Lee has been fighting the Gamecock Club’s seat-licensing fee since the Yearly Equitable Seating program was initialized in 2008, paying $325 per each of his eight seats per year under protest, and was rewarded for his efforts on Wednesday.

A trial jury ruled in favor of USC and the Gamecock Club, but the state Supreme Court reversed the decision. Citing legal error in the trial court’s interpretation, the Supreme Court ruled that USC breached the longtime agreement that Lee had by ordering him to pay seat-license fees if he wanted to keep his seats at football games.

“We conclude that the agreement unambiguously prohibits the university from requiring Lee to p lay the seat license fee as a prerequisite for the opportunity to purchase tickets pursuant to the agreement,” the Court’s decision read. “We reverse the decision of the trial court and remand for entry of judgment for Lee.”

A complete story will be posted shortly.

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