North Carolina State has ended its football contract with Central Michigan, leaving athletic director Dave Heeke scrambling to fill two dates on the 2014 football schedule.
N.C. State was scheduled to travel to Mount Pleasant to play CMU on Aug. 28, 2014, the Chippewas’ season opener and third and final game of a contract signed between the two schools in January 2009. NCSU will pay CMU $350,000 as a buyout, according to a Thursday afternoon release.
The cancellation leaves two open dates for the 2014 season, Heeke said. The Chippewas are scheduled to travel to Purdue on Sept. 6 and Kansas on Sept. 20.
“They felt like they were down on home games and wanted to build their home schedule and needed to make adjustments,” Heeke said of N.C. State athletic director Deborah Yow’s decision to end the contract.
“It’s part of the landscape. In this day and age with college football scheduling, unfortunately some of the things happened. We’re dealing with it and going to move forward, we’ll fill the date and we’re very confident we’ll do that.”
The Wolfpack will play an eight-game home schedule this season, and play seven home games in 2014, should they replace CMU with another home game.
CMU traveled to Raleigh, N.C., last week, losing to the Wolfpack 48-14. The Chippewas lost the first game of series, 38-24, in 2011.
“I have a lot of connections throughout the industry and we’re aware of people with open dates,” Heeke said. “We’re beginning to have conversations with those who fit in with the available dates that we have.”
N.C. State is the third school in recent years to end a scheduled football contract with CMU. Indiana ended a three-game contract with CMU in January 2010, creating a spat between both universities that was never resolved. In June, Ohio State canceled a one-game contract that was going to pay CMU $925,000 for traveling to Columbus in 2016.
Yow said in a statement that N.C. State originally had five home games in 2014 and that CMU knew months ago that it wouldn’t play.
Contact Aaron McMann: email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @AaronMcMann.