Legal and Risk Management Considerations and Implications of Carelessly Drafted Game Contracts: Avoiding a Legal Hurricane


  • Jeffrey Levine Drexel University
  • John Miller The University of Southern Mississippi



risk management, college sports, event management, game contracts, contract ambiguity, force majeure


Weather plays a crucial role in sport event management. Ignoring predicted weather conditions or not effectively communicating them may lead to unanticipated legal, financial, environmental, and social impacts. In 2018, the University of Akron and University of Nebraska football teams were forced to cancel their contest after severe lightning and rainstorms caused significant delays, thus creating a ripple effect that produced other potential risk management issues. This article examines the legal and risk management considerations of this situation, including the possible implications of a carelessly drafted game contract as well as potential strategies to mitigate legal exposure. The authors evaluated the potential application of contract ambiguity as well as contract impracticability and contract impossibility. To mitigate such issues from reoccurring, the authors suggest utilizing an enterprise risk management planning approach to create procedures as part of mitigating the risk of inclement weather in collegiate athletics event management.

Author Biographies

Jeffrey Levine, Drexel University

Jeffrey Levine, JD, PhD, is an assistant clinical professor of sport business and leads the Esports Business Program at Drexel University. His expertise is at the nexus of sport, law, and policy. He is a research fellow in the Sport and Recreation Law Association.

John Miller, The University of Southern Mississippi

John Miller, PhD, is a professor of sport management in the College of Business and Economic Development at the University of Southern Mississippi. He is a research fellow in the National Center for Spectator Sport Safety and Security and research fellow in the Sport and Recreation Law Association.


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Original Research