The University of Miami football team will begin on-field preparation for the 2018 season when spring practice begins March 20.
The football spring practice calendar might follow last year’s 15-session schedule of Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday practice dates, but the date of the spring game still has not been set.
Last year there was no spring game at Hard Rock Stadium because of renovations, but there was a final scrimmage at Boca Raton Community High School. This year a spring game is expected at Hard Rock, but nothing has been finalized, a UM spokesman said.
Also on Tuesday, Hurricanes athletic director Blake James was asked if there was anything new with the Arkansas State saga in which ASU is threatening to sue UM if it does not receive the “liquidated damages’’ fee of $650,000 “on or before’’ Thursday, as set forth in a letter to UM on Monday, and in the original contract. The situation stems from the UM at ASU football game, originally scheduled for Sept. 9, 2017, being cancelled Sept. 6 while Category 5 Hurricane Irma was bearing down on South Florida.
“I defer to my comment yesterday,’’ James said Tuesday. “I very strongly believe in our position. I know our attorneys are working with their attorneys and we’ll get to a resolution.’’
Later, the Miami Herald asked James, “Do you want to play Arkansas State in football?’’
The AD didn’t dare to touch that one, as ASU wants a game rescheduled there in 2020 or 2021, and UM has said it cannot play the Red Wolves those years, but is holding dates in 2024 or 2025 — that is, as long as an ASU response to one of the dates is received by Feb. 18.
“Given where we’re at in the situation,’’ James reiterated, “I believe in our position and we’ll let our attorneys resolve the issue with their attorneys.’’
James addressed reporters Tuesday at baseball media day at Mark Light Field – the massive, partially built Carol Soffer Football Indoor Practice Facility in the background.
James said the indoor facility is set to be completed on schedule by the start of fall football practice.
“We’re right on schedule,’’ James said. “I’m 100-percent confident we’re going to be ready to go as planned with the start of this fall camp at the beginning of August. I think right now they believe we’ll be done a little before that. But as I’ve said all along, as long as we’re ready to go when Mark [Richt] and our team take the field, I’ll be happy. Yes, it has made tremendous progress and it’s exciting to see it happen every day.’’