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Feud between Miami and Arkansas St. over Hurricane Irma cancellation goes public

Florida Football Insiders

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

When last we left the 2017 college football season, the Miami Hurricanes had a rebounded in a big way and made themselves nationally relevant at the end of the year to possibly be in the College Football Playoff. Ultimately, they lost their last three games including the ACC Championship Game to Clemson and the Orange Bowl to Wisconsin.

Still, most Hurricane fans would have to consider 2017 a giant step one forward in Mark Richt’s second year. They are moving forward, looking to the future.

However, one of their scheduled opponents in 2017, who never got to play the Canes due to Hurricane Irma, doesn’t want to let the 2017 season go, just yet.

It is come to light that Arkansas State and Miami are still haggling over the Canes refusing to come to Jonesboro, AR to play the September 9th scheduled game against the Red Wolves. There has been considerable back and forth and now, the attorneys are involved.

This is specifically because: Miami apparently does not intend to reschedule the game and will not pay Arkansas State the $650,000 penalty for not playing the game.

We cannot say that we blame Arkansas State, their attorney lays out a very simple and compelling argument that Miami could have gotten out of South Florida safely to play the game. And, Arkansas State was doing everything it could to help them get to Jonesboro and make provisions for them to stay in Jonesboro or elsewhere, if they could not get back to South Florida on that Saturday night or Sunday, etc.

Arkansas State even arranged for backup aircraft to and from Memphis at $80,000 of their own expense, if needed.

The Red Wolves lawyer also makes compelling points that other programs like FIU, who had a home game on 9/9, left and played their game in Birmingham, Alabama. Florida Atlantic left and played their road game at Wisconsin that Saturday and elected to stay there to wait out Irma.

And UCF, USF and Florida State, who all lost home games that day, found a way to reschedule the games sooner in the season or in FSU’s case, on December 2nd at the end of the season.

The Florida Gators cancelled home game with Northern Colorado that Saturday, and it resulted in them paying their opponent off to not reschedule the game.

Also, Arkansas State’s attorney using Richt’s own comments to the media that the game could have been played is pretty damning for Miami to try to get out of all responsibility.

It seems to be a very simple situation. Now that Arkansas State proved that there are openings on Miami’s 2020 and 2021 schedules, the game should be made up.

The Canes should do that or pay Arkansas State for not playing it.

Miami currently makes tens of millions of dollars in revenue from the ACC and it’s television deals. Arkansas makes a fraction of that, and stood to make a lot more than $650,000 by hosting the home game.

And the longer that Miami continues to “stonewall “and try to act like they’re not obligated to do one or the other, it becomes a bigger and bigger PR nightmare for them.

No one is questioning that there were safety and security concerns around Irma and possible evacuations, etc., but when other schools made provision to play their games or eventually made them up or paid the opponent, you are out of arguments.

Stay tuned.

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