The independent news organization of Duke University

Team faces scheduling lawsuit

The University of Louisville filed suit in Frankfurt, Ky. against Duke for three counts of breach of agreement Nov. 1.

The complaint, obtained by the Chronicle Thursday, contends that Duke owes Louisville a total of $450,000 in liquidated damages for breaking a June 23, 1999 bilateral Athletic Competition agreement between the football teams of the two universities.

The agreement bound the Blue Devils to a four-game slate with the Cardinals between 2002 and 2009 and stated that if either party broke its terms, it would have to pay the financial settlement or help the other university find a replacement of "similar stature."

The Blue Devils played the first of the four contracted contests, a 40-3 loss at Wallace Wade Stadium, Sept. 7, 2002. On March 24, 2004, Duke wrote Louisville offic to terminate the remainder of the agreement.

Representatives for Louisville responded March 27, 2004 with a request for either financial damages of $150,000 or assistance from Duke in finding "a suitable replacement from the ACC" for each of the cancelled games.

Now, two and a half years later, Louisville claims it has received no such help from Duke nor the ACC and that the former is "unequivocally repudiating its contractual obligation."

Louisville-which has an open spot in its 2008 schedule and two in its 2009 slate as a result of the cancellation of the contract-also contends that its replacement for the Blue Devils in 2007, Indiana State, was not an opponent of "similar stature." The claim states Louisville has been in contact with every member of the football Bowl Subdivision as well as ESPN officials to try to successfully fill its schedule but with no success.

In addition to contractual compensation, Louisville is now pursuing additional damages to defer the cost of its legal fees and the time spent by the Louisville's Department of Athletics in the attempt to find a "suitable replacement" for Duke.

A call to Duke's legal counsel was not returned Thursday.


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