With the Thursday deadline looming before Arkansas State has threatened to sue the University of Miami for cancelling their game last September and refusing to either reschedule it soon or pay the contract penalty, the Canes AD gave brief, but insightful comments on Tuesday.
In short, he doesn’t want the responsibility (or blame) for having to get the dispute resolved.
Speaking at Hurricane baseball media day Tuesday afternoon, Blake James told reporters that “given where we’re at in the situation, I believe in our position and we’ll let our attorneys resolve the issue with their attorneys.’’
As we wrote on Monday, the dispute has escalated to the point of lawyers and threatened legal action, because Miami refuses to either reschedule the game soon or just go ahead and pay the $650,000 penalty in the contract for not having come to Jonesboro to play the game last September 9th due to Hurricane Irma concerns.
The Red Wolves, through their attorneys have “dead-lined” Miami in correspondence to make a decision by Thursday or face a lawsuit that will include damages.
And while we haven’t consulted “Judge Judy,” it’s pretty apparent that Arkansas State has most of the facts and the legal points on their side and they have been trying for weeks to get a resolution.
Now, what’s important and interesting is that’s where James and ASU atheltic director Terry Mohajir, come into the scenarios and usually, would be the ones to “do the deal.”
James has been in Coral Gables since 2013 and Mohajir in Jonesboro since 2012. They are both veterans of negotiating many football and basketball games and contracts. They regularly deal with AD’s across college sports and work out who will play whom, when, where, for how much, etc.
So, the fact that it’s now in the hands of the lawyers means that those two could not, or in James’ situation “would not” come to an agreement.
In the attorney’s correspondence, it was also revealed that both University presidents have spoken on this subject at least twice and have now agreed to have the counsels resolve it. That further indicates that James and Mohajir could no longer play “nicey nice” and get a make up game scheduled.
Arkansas State correctly pointed to Miami having openings in 2020 and 2021 out of conference schedules currently to play the game. However, the Canes countered that they were in discussions with other schools about those seasons and offered 2024, as an alternative to come to Arkansas.
We will further side with the Red Wolves’ point that being made to wait seven more football seasons for a “return game” in a two-game, home and home deal is silly.
It would be one thing if Arkansas State had yet to play Miami at Miami, but they did in 2014.
So, just electing to end the deal and move on, isn’t an option.
And for James and the Miami administration, they are losing in “court of public opinion” in part, because he couldn’t work it out with Arkansas State’s AD privately, before all of this became public this week.
And now, they have a deadline or it gets much worse perception wise and possible legal damages wise.
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