Arkansas State University followed through with its threat.
ASU on Friday afternoon filed a lawsuit against the University of Miami and is seeking $650,000 in damages because of a football game that was never played in Jonesboro, Arkansas, after one-time Category 5 Hurricane Irma bore down on South Florida last September and caused the cancellation.
“It is unfortunate that we have reached this point, but Miami’s actions left us with no choice,” ASU General Counsel Brad Phelps said in a statement, as reported by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. “We look forward to proceeding to trial.”
Arkansas State wanted badly to play the game regardless of the hurricane and had offered to pay $86,000-$88,000, according to ASU, for the entire Miami team and staff to fly from Miami to Memphis and then get safely to Jonesboro.
ASU also said it wants to reschedule the game for 2020 or ’21, but UM offered 2024, 2025 “or beyond.’’
“This action seeks a judgment finding that UM breached the contract by (1) failing to appear for the September 9, 2017 football game, (2) failing to reschedule the game when its schedule permitted, and (3) failing to pay ASU liquidated damages,” the lawsuit states, according to the Democrat-Gazette.
On Monday, UM athletic director Blake James said in an email to the Miami Herald that “we believe strongly in our standing and will not comment further as both parties’ attorneys bring this to resolution.”