More on Duke football: An abject, on-the-record confession of athletic inferiority

Duke helmentIn response to this forum's discussion of Duke football, Mack Sperling has posted a fantastic article, The Law and Duke Football. Mr. Sperling departed from "the mainstream of the business litigation decisions that" he normally covers on his blog, North Carolina Business Litigation Report, in order to discuss the Louisville-Duke football controversy as "a contract case that's important to the jurisprudence of North Carolina." In so doing, he stresses "the quality of Duke University football" — or, more accurately, its utter absence.

In its response to interrogatories in the already infamous case of University of Louisville v. Duke University, Case No. 07-CI-1765 (Ky. Franklin Cir. Ct., June 19, 2008), Duke University made the following confession:


Duke states that any and all college varsity teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) are teams of a "similar stature" to Duke. . . . Additionally, Duke states that any and all college varsity football teams in the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) that would be considered as good or better than Duke in football. . . are teams of a "similar stature" to Duke. . . . [J]unior varsity programs of any of the aforementioned teams would not be teams of a '"similar stature" to Duke's varsity college football team.

That's right. Duke University has confessed, on the record, that its football team is no better than any Division I-AA varsity college football team. Blue Devil pride, such as it is, kept Duke from conceding even further ground to other Division I colleges' JV squads.

I hold firm to my previously stated views that Louisville deserved to win this case. Although I'd rather get the $450,000 in damages that Duke owes for breach of contract, I suppose that the entire Cardinal Nation, pending further appeals, will have to settle for the pleasure of Duke's humiliation in Franklin Circuit Court.




Appendix: Mr. Sperling has been kind enough to post  Adobe .pdf files of key documents in University of Louisville v. Duke University:

  1. Athletic Competition Agreement (the contract that committed Duke to play four football games against Louisville)
  2. Complaint against Duke University
  3. Duke response to interrogatories
  4. Duke brief in support of its motion to dismiss
  5. Louisville brief in opposition to the motion to dismiss
  6. Duke reply brief
  7. Circuit Court opinion

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