Hurricane Irma caused all kinds of problems for sports teams in its wake. Even major football games were canceled or rescheduled, and one of them is still causing headaches.
The University of Miami had been scheduled for a Sept. 9, 2017, tilt with Arkansas State in Jonesboro, Ark., before Irma caused a late cancelation. Now, Arkansas State is asking to be compensated by Miami — or face a lawsuit.
The Miami Herald reports that Arkansas State sent a letter to Miami on Monday, setting a deadline of Thursday of this week for Miami to issue a “liquidated damages” fee of $650,000 to Arkansas State before it pursues legal action.
The deadline lines up with the date agreed to in the original contract between the schools, which was reportedly signed in 2013.
The Herald reports that despite the storm, Arkansas State badly wanted to play the game. ASU reportedly offered to pay for air charter service that would get Miami safely to Jonesboro while ensuring that Miami’s obligations to other air carriers weren’t impacted.
ASU reportedly has sought to reschedule the game for 2020 or 2021, but those requests have been refused due to other scheduling agreements. Miami’s next availability for road games against non-FCS schools isn’t until 2024.
One possible wrinkle in the case is contract language that states: “This contract shall be void with respect to any of the games in the event that it becomes impossible to play such game(s) by reason of an unforeseen catastrophe or disaster such as fire, flood, earthquake, war, epidemic, confiscation, by order of government, military or public authority or prohibitory or injunctive orders of any competent judicial or government authority.”