Duke University managed to save $450,000 but according to today’s Charlotte News & Observer “the school had to trash itself to do it.”
Duke was scheduled to play Louisville for four straight years in college football. However, after losing to the Cardinals 40-3 in 2002, the school broke its contract with the Cardinals and pulled out of the remaining three years of the deal.
Louisville took the Dukies to court claiming breach of contract. The contract called for either side to pay a penalty of $150,000 per game if it pulled out of the deal. The fee would be assessed if a date with a “team of similar stature” could not be scheduled. Duke’s lawyers argued that since its program was so bad they could be replaced by ANY Division 1 football team.
On Thursday a judge ruled in Duke’s favor. In his decsision the judge said,
“At oral argument, Duke persuasively asserted that this is a threshold that could not be any lower. Duke’s argument on this point cannot be reasonably disputed by Louisville.”
In other words, the judge bought the school’s argument that they were so bad they could be replaced by ANY team in college football. Humiliating? Yes, but it saved the school $450,000