The University of Michigan has pulled out of a scheduled two-game football series with the University of Arkansas.
Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long was informed of Michigan’s decision to cancel the games in a letter e-mailed Wednesday night.
“Primarily, we are disappointed in Michigan’s timing in pulling out of a nonconference football series between the SEC and the Big Ten that has been set for four years,” Long said in a university press release. “While there are many other quality opponents that would help us strengthen our non-conference schedule, the late notice of Michigan’s cancellation makes securing those games substantially more difficult. Our focus will be to find a program that welcomes the opportunity to compete against a nationally respected program in the most competitive conference in college football.”
An agreement signed in 2012, stated the schools were scheduled to play a home-and-home series in 2018 and 2019. Michigan must pay Arkansas a $2 million cancellation fee, according to the signed statement.
“As a former player and coach in the Big Ten, I was looking forward to the opportunity for our team to compete against one of my favorite Big Ten conference rivals,” Arkansas head football coach Bret Bielema said in the release. “I’m disappointed that won’t happen now. But, I know that our administration will work to get a quality non-conference game that will help prepare us to compete in the SEC and nationally.”
It seemed Michigan found their new opponent quickly with the announcement Thursday of a home-and-home series against Notre Dame in 2018 and 2019.