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A bowl game is suing the Pac-12 and UCLA

By Andrew Kulha,

UCLA football helmet

It was hours before kickoff on December 28, 2021. The UCLA Bruins were scheduled to take on NC State in the Holiday Bowl.

Except the game never happened, because UCLA bowed out of the contest due to COVID-19-related issues. The Bruins announced the decision to pull out of the game at 3:30 p.m. ET on Thursday afternoon. The game was scheduled to kick off less than five hours later.

Almost two years later it is being reported that both the Pac-12 conference and UCLA are being sued by the Holiday Bowl. The bowl game is seeking over $3 million in damages since the league had refused to reimburse the bowl for the contest that wasn't played.

"The complaint states the Holiday Bowl 'has engaged and continues to engage in good faith with the Pac-12 to negotiate a resolution of the dispute without success,'" Action Network's Brett McMurphy wrote.

It has been a back-and-forth affair between the Holiday Bowl and the conference. When Oregon played in the 2022 Holiday Bowl, the Pac-12 wasn't paid for providing the participating team, to compensate for the 2021 cancellation. That wasn't received well by the Pac-12, though, which notified the Holiday Bowl earlier in May that it would file a lawsuit if that money wasn't paid by Wednesday, May 31.

The bowl game clearly beat the conference to the punch and there is good reason to believe the Holiday Bowl has a case on its hands.

Per McMurphy, the bowl lost more than $3 million because of the canceled game in 2021 thanks to the fact that it had to refund the revenue gained from ticket sales, sponsorship deals, and television broadcast rights.

One has to wonder if this will be the end of a long partnership between the Pac-12 and the bowl game. The bowl has been played annually since 1978 and a Pac-12 team has been invited to every iteration of the bowl since 1998.

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