What’s remarkable isn’t the suit itself, but Duke’s defense to Louisville’s claim for damages.
… The contract called for a penalty of $150,000 per game if a date with a “team of similar stature” could not be arranged.
Duke’s lawyers argued the Blue Devils, which have a record of 6-45 over the past five seasons, were so bad that any team would be a suitable replacement. [Emphasis added.]
That turned out to be a winning strategy, as the court ruled in Duke’s favor.
“At oral argument, Duke (with a candor perhaps more attributable to good legal strategy than to institutional modesty) 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.”
Kentucky courts interpret contract terms “according to their plain and ordinary meaning” barring any ambiguity. According to Shepherd, finding a suitable replacement literally meant any NCAA Division I team would suffice – including those in the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-AA.)
How quick do you think this gets incorporated into rivals’ recruiting pitches?