Arkansas State plans to sue Miami if it doesn't receive payment for canceled game
Miami was supposed to travel to Jonesboro last September, but a hurricane got in the way
One of the college football games canceled in the wake of Hurricane Irma last fall was Miami's trip to Arkansas State on Sept. 9. The decision by Miami made sense at the time since the team was bracing for a natural disaster in Florida. However, Arkansas State lost a home game in the process and wants to be compensated for it -- or for a make-up date to be scheduled in earnest.
In a letter sent to Miami assistant general counsel James Rowlee, ASU general counsel Brad Phelps said the Hurricanes have until Feb. 15 to pay $650,000 in damages since talks between the two sides have broken down. That number is based on a contract signed between the two universities in 2013 for a home-and-home series (Arkansas State visited Miami in 2014). If Miami does not pay the amount, Arkansas State will pursue a lawsuit. You can read the letter in its entirety here.
In summation, Miami was willing to reschedule the game for a date between 2024 to 2028 while Arkansas State wanted something in either 2020 or 2021. Miami says the earlier dates are impossible given prior scheduling agreements; Arkansas State believes Miami is being stubborn.
Additionally, Arkansas State feels numerous good faith efforts were made last fall to accommodate Miami, which cited a problematic return trip home as its reason for cancelling the game. Arkansas State offered to let Miami players and coaches stay in local hotels in the days after the game, as well as worked with ESPN to move the game up to Friday, Sept. 8.
Arkansas State claims it was willing to bend over backwards to get Miami out to Jonseboro last September because it's not often you get a program of that caliber in a home-and-home. That's also a revenue-producing home game, of which the Red Wolves had just six scheduled in 2017. Whether that's made up on the back end with another date down the road or in punitive damages in court, Arkansas State wants what it feels it is owed.
Miami athletic director Blake James told CBS Sports that the Canes are not planning to budge from their stance based on the threat of a lawsuit.
"I am aware of Arkansas State's position on this matter. We believe strongly in our standing and will not comment furhter as both parties' attorneys bring this to resolution," he said.
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