JONESBORO, Ark. — Arkansas State has sued Miami and is seeking $650,000 in damages for failing to reschedule the football game in Jonesboro that was canceled in September because of concerns about Hurricane Irma.
The lawsuit was filed in Craighead County District Court late Friday afternoon, and Arkansas State says Miami has “refused to timely and reasonably reschedule the game in years in which it has openings.”
Miami was scheduled to play at Arkansas State on Sept. 9 as part of a two-game contract that saw the Red Wolves travel to face the Hurricanes in 2014.
However, because of travel issues ahead of Hurricane Irma, the game was canceled — despite Arkansas State athletic director Terry Mohajir offering to play the game a day earlier and aid with travel and accommodations.
Miami was off the week following the canceled game with the Red Wolves before returning to the field a week later against Toledo. The Hurricanes began the season 10-0 before losing their final three games of the season, including an Orange Bowl loss to Wisconsin that left them at No. 13 in the final Associated Press poll.
Arkansas State finished 7-5, including a loss to Middle Tennessee State to end its season in the Camellia Bowl.
In the lawsuit, Arkansas State says Mohajir reached out to Miami athletic director Blake James last month about rescheduling the game. It also says James told Mohajir the earliest Miami could play the game in Jonesboro would be sometime during the 2024-28 seasons, despite Arkansas State contacting a scheduling service that said Miami had openings in both the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
Mohajir said he offered to play another game at Miami if the Hurricanes would play at Arkansas State in either of those seasons, but that James said those weren’t available because of prior scheduling agreements.
Several sporting events were impacted by Hurricane Irma, including the NFL opener between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins that was delayed until November. Also, UCF’s home game against Memphis was moved up a day to Friday night, Florida International moved its home against Alcorn State to a neutral field in Birmingham a day earlier and Florida State moved its home game against Louisiana-Monroe to December.