It’s officially on, legally, between Arkansas State and Miami.
Earlier this week it was reported that Arkansas State was threatening to sue Miami over the latter failing to play a scheduled game last year in Jonesboro amidst Hurricane Irma. With a Thursday deadline coming and going without UM paying ASU damages being sought, the Sun Belt school followed through on the threat, with the Associated Press confirming that ASU has filed a lawsuit against UM in Craighead County (Ark.) District Court late Friday afternoon.
Prior to filing the suit, ASU athletic director Terry Mohajir had reached out to his counterpart at UM, Blake James, about rescheduling the game for either the 2020 or 2021 seasons, years in which the Hurricanes have available dates. James responded, per the suit, that they could only reschedule the Jonesboro game during the 2024-28 seasons.
According to FBSchedules.com, The U has just two non-conference games scheduled for the 2020 season. Miami’s argument against rescheduling the game for that season is that the dates they fill need to be played at home. The lawsuit claims that Miami has “refused to timely and reasonably reschedule the game in years in which it has openings.”
Arkansas State is seeking $650,000 in damages as a result of a breach of contract. “This action also seeks compensatory damages, liquidated damages for UM’s breach of contract, and attorney’s fees and costs,” the suit states, adding, “The contract provides that ‘failure of a party to participate in the Game will constitute a material breach of the Agreement that will cause the other party significant disruption and damages.'”
The lawsuit also delves into the other FBS teams, primarily from the state of Florida, whose games were impacted by the hurricane that same weekend.
47. Three teams in the Florida and Georgia area still played their football games scheduled for the weekend of Hurricane Irma. Florida International University played its scheduled home game against Alcorn State in Birmingham, Alabama. Georgia Southern University also played its scheduled home game against the University of New Hampshire in Birmingham, Alabama. Florida Atlantic University played its away game against the University of Wisconsin with a delayed return back to Florida.
48. Three additional teams canceled their scheduled games, but rescheduled for the same season. Florida State played its rescheduled game against the University of Louisiana Monroe on December 2, 2017. The University of South Florida played a rescheduled game against the University of Connecticut on November 4, 2017. And the University of Central Florida played its rescheduled game against the University of Memphis on September 30, 2017.
49. The seventh team, the University of Florida, canceled its game against the University of Northern Colorado, and because the game could not be rescheduled due to conflicting schedules, Northern Colorado received a buyout for the game.
50. Upon belief, UM is the only FBS school to fail to play its scheduled game in accordance with its contract, timely reschedule its canceled game, or pay the buyout or liquidated damages under the contract.
51. Additionally, UM and Florida State immediately rescheduled their September 16, 2017 football game for October 7, 2017.