Give credit to Arkansas State, they did in fact follow through and sue the University of Miami for the penalty to have cancelled their September home game in Jonesboro.
Late Friday afternoon Central Time, Arkansas State University General Counsel Brad Phelps filed the suit in Craighead County Court seeking reimbursement of the $650,000 penalty that is specifically laid out in the two game “home and home’ agreement that Miami and the Red Wolves signed. The suit also seeks attorneys fees, court costs and “liquidated damages.”
As we wrote earlier this week, this all stems from the Hurricanes refusing to come to Jonesboro to play the highly anticipated home game against Arkansas State due to concerns about Hurricane Irma’s path and being able to return to Miami.
However, the ASU officials, including Phelps in correspondence with Miami’s counsel, laid out a compelling case that Miami could have come to Jonesboro and even stayed there after the game, if necessary. And they pointed to both Florida International and FAU leaving the South Florida area to play games that weekend. And in both cases, FIU stayed in the Birmingham area after relocating their home game to there, and FAU remained in Wisconsin after their road game on 9/9/17.
The Red Wolves fulfilled their end of the home and home, playing in Miami in 2014.
Phelps told KAIT-TV (NBC) in Jonesboro in a statement Friday, “It is unfortunate that we have reached this point, but Miami’s actions left us with no choice. We look forward to proceeding to trial.”
The Red Wolves had been willing to allow Miami to come play the game in 2020 or 2021, but the Hurricanes countered with 2024 or 2025 to “make good,” and not have to pay the penalty. Phelps informed the Hurricanes counsel of the deadline to decide of February 15th to come earlier or pay the penalty.
As of Friday night, Miami officials, including AD Blake James, had not responded to the lawsuit being filed. James told the media in brief comments Tuesday that he and the administration were choosing to let the attorneys work it out.
They obviously did not.
Now, we wait for that response.
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