Duke University Fights Louisville over Scheduling Contract

Dec 21, 2007

Duke University announced last month that it plans to challenge a lawsuit brought by the University of Louisville, which claims that Duke reneged on a contract that called for the schools to play four games against each other between 2002 and 2009.
John F. Burness, senior vice president for public affairs and government relations at Duke, said the lawsuit lacked “merit. We expect this will emerge in the courtroom,” he added
Louisville, which filed the suit in Franklin Circuit Court, is seeking $150,000 for each game remaining on the contract after Duke opted out of the agreement, or $450,000 in damages.
The first game of the series was played in Durham on September 7, 2002, with Duke losing 40-3. It then advised Louisville on March 24, 2004, that it was terminating the rest of the agreement. Three days later, Louisville responded that it wanted either damages or help in finding “a suitable replacement from the ACC for each of the cancelled games.”
Louisville alleges in its Nov. 1 filing that Duke “unequivocally repudiate(ed) its contractual obligation.”
A key issue in the dispute will likely center on the efforts each school made to find a replacement. Duke has argued that Louisville didn’t try hard enough to find a replacement. Louisville, for its part, claimed that it contacted every school in the NCAA Division I Bowl Subdivision to look for a “suitable” opponent.
Louisville settled for Indiana State in 2007, a program it argued was not of “similar stature” to that of Duke.
In addition to the $450,000, Louisville is also seeking additional damages to defer the cost of its legal fees and the time spent trying to find a “suitable replacement.”


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