Canceled Football Game’s Payment in Limbo

Akron: 0 – Nebraska: 0


The Akron Zips football team takes to the field during a 2015 game at InfoCision Stadium. (Buchtelite file photo)

By Jordyn Etling, Sports Editor

On Saturday, Sept. 1,  the Akron Zips football team had their first official game against Nebraska canceled due to severe weather; which invokes questions over the contract released the following Monday.

After spending $165,000 to get the players, coaches and anyone else involved to Nebraska, according to UA Athletic Director Larry Williams, Akron was ready to play. However, the weather turned severe and left both teams scrambling to find a solution.

After pushing kickoff time back over two hours, administrative figures and coaches for Nebraska managed to find lodging accommodations for the visiting team. This decision would have left members of the Zips scattered in multiple locations across Lincoln, Neb.

A potential start time was set for 10:30 AM Sunday. The players would have less than six hours of rest before being expected to play again. In the end, Akron chose to head home with their canceled game.

This end result raises the question: Does Nebraska still owe the $1.17 million stated in the contract between the schools? The wording of the document leaves room for interpretation.

According to articles from the Omaha World-Herald and Cleveland Plain Dealer, the contract is void if the game is canceled due to disaster, fire, war, terrorism, weather such as tropical storms, hurricanes or floods, earthquakes or calamities including rebellion, insurrection or confiscation of the stadium by order of the government.

With the contract exclusively leaving out the wording for a thunderstorm, it is possible Nebraska owes money to UA. Discussions are still occurring on potentially making up the game the first week of December since the two teams’ bye-weeks do not line up.

If the teams meet in December and play successfully, then the contract is no longer of concern. If both teams find other opponents, then the contract is still left up for debate. At this time, there is no conclusion as to whether Nebraska will pay the $1.17 million or not.