The threat of a cancellation to this week’s game between Missouri and BYU became a bit more realistic Sunday afternoon following a released statement from University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe. Boiling in controversy related to alleged negligence toward marginalized students’ experiences, students at Missouri are demanding a change in the president’s office. Wolfe released a statement on Sunday saying he and university leaders are cognizant of the concerns and have been working to address those issues, but he did not say he would resign. So, for now, the protests will continue. This could put Missouri’s game this weekend against BYU in Kansas City in jeopardy, as members of the football team have said they will not participate in any football-related activities until Wolfe is out of office.
The Kansas City Star shared a copy of the contract for the series between Missouri and BYU back in January. In it are details of what happens in the event either school has to cancel the game. While exemptions and alternate plans are outlined, one thing that is seemingly pretty straightforward is what happens in the event of a forfeit, for whatever the reason may be. The school in need of cancelling the game would be contractually be obligated to pay the other university a sum of $1 million within 30 days from the date of the cancelled game.
Per the contract;
“The parties agree that if one party cancels, forfeits, unilaterally delays or postpones, or fails to appear at, any game (there and similar actions hereafter referred to as “cancel”), actual damages — including those relating to public relations, radio and television broadcasts, lost profits, and other consequential damages — would be difficult or impossible to calculate. The parties further agree that processes, including litigation, to determine damages would be both unnecessarily expensive and time-consuming. Therefore, the parties agree that if one party cancels (hereafter, the “defaulting party”) any game or games, the defaulting party shall pay as liquidated damages to the other party One Million Dollars ($1,000,000) for each cancelled game, to be paid no later than thirty (30) days following the scheduled game.”
Football players announced their intention to sit out of any football-related activities until that demand is met, and on Sunday head football coach Gary Pinkel joined them, along with the rest fo the team, in a show of unity by the program and members of the student-body. If Missouri does not have a team to take the field on Saturday against BYU, it will result in a forfeit, and thus cost the school $1 million to BYU.
Missouri is also two games shy of becoming bowl eligible, with three games to play (including the BYU game). The two-game series with BYU was signed off on in November of 2014. Missouri is scheduled to visit BYU in 2020 in the second game on the contract.